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" L 




From the Earliest Settlement to the 
Present Time 








1686712 A 

R 1833 L 

Copyright, 1916, by 
C. B. BAfiLEY 


The reader, who may give tlicse pajjes more than a passing glance, will 
discover that the writer has presented an account of events and not a history 
of the men who were the actors in them. 

The reasons for this are twofold. First, lack of fitness for biographical 
writing; and second, of far nKjre ini])()rtancc. the belief that the time is not yet 
ripe for a truthful and ini])arli;d W(irk of that Idiid. Ilie city is young; of its 
founders and of those who helped to erect the present structure, in all its magnili- 
cence. many are yet here. When these shall have gone to their final account will 
i)c time enough to deal with tin- jiersonal element of its pioneers and builders. 

The ]jrei)aration of a History of Seattle has, in effect, been the e.\ploratif)n 
<jf a new field and the amount of ])atient research and careful investigation 
involved has been a task of colossal proportions. 

The ])rinted and written records of tlie first twenty years of Seattle's existence 
are scanty almost beyond belief. .\ot until 1863 was a newspaper established 
here and, for many years, more s])ace in it was devoted to eastern and foreign 
jiolitics than to the record of local passing events, b'ew, if any, pioneers kept 
di.iries and none of these, except that of the writer, has been accessible. 

Ilis own local recollections cover nearly all tiie years since Seattle's found- 
ing and he has not deemed it necessary, excepting u])0n rare occasions, to Cjuote 
.lutborities regarding matters within the range of his personal knowledge. 

When this work was begun it was contemplated that his connection with it 
should be that of editor only ; to give aid and counsel in its jireparation and to read 
:md approve it in advance of its publication. Not until late in the year 1915 
was the constructive work ])laced in hi.s hands and, the publishers being desirous 
t)f its delivcrv to the sub.scribers as soon as ])ossil)le, he and his co-workers have 
•iince given to it long hours of imrcmitting toil. The utmost condensation has 
been observed consistent with a ])ro])er ])rescntation of the topics under dis- 

Messrs. Welford llealon. I'loyd C. Kaylor and \ ictor j. I'arrar ha\e done 
much work in its preparation and the writer's thanks are also here extended 
to Judge Roger 5?. Greene, Dr. TI. Eugene .Mien and Messrs. TIarry W. P. ring- 
hurst and A. A. Braymer for notable aid and kindly counsel during the progress 
of the work. 

Seattle, Washington, May i, 1916. CL.\KF..\rr: P.. P.\f;i.F.v. 


Clarence B. Bagley Frontispiece 

Seattle Water Front, About 1878, Looking Up Marion Street lO 

Seattle, Early in 1865 20 

The Cook House in 1866 24 

Store of I'lumnier & 1 linds in i860 30 

Charles riuninier's Residence 38 

The Felker House 38 

Yesler's Wharf, About 1885 44 

Seattle, Looking Xorthwest from Yesler's Wharf, About 1878 50 

Ezra Meeker 52 

Seattle Water Front from Beacon Hill, About 1881 54 

Yesler Way, About 1870 58 

Looking South from 'i'hird and Pike, About 1870 60 

Looking North from Main Street and First Avenue South, 1866 66 

Occidental Avenue Looking North from Main Street, 1872 72 

1 lorton's and Yesler's Wharfs, About 1876 74 

Chief Seattle 78 

Angeline, Daughter of Chief Seattle 84 

First Avenue, About 1876 88 

\'ie\v from Denny Hill, 1882 90 

Cherry Street in January, 1880 98 

The \\'ater Front in 1878 100 

The Steamer Beaver 104 

The Steamer Eliza Anderson no 

Steamer George E. Starr 114 

The C. & P. S. R. R. Terminals, About 1883 120 

l^ooking Nortli from First Avenue Near Cherry, About 1878 124 

South End of Lake Union. About 1885 126 

Looking North on First Avenue South, About 1883 130 

Part of Washington State University Campus 136 

The Territorial University 140 

Lincoln High School 162 

Queen Anne High School 164 

I'roadway High School 168 

Franklin High School 170 

Ballard High School 172 

West Seattle High School 176 

First Presbyterian Church 178 

First Baptist Church 178 

Tabernacle I'>aptist Church 178 

Plymouth Congregational Church 178 

First Methodist Protestant Church iSo 

St. James Cathedral 182 

Trinity Parish Church 182 

Madrona Presbyterian Church 184 



Olympic United Presbyterian Church 184 

I'ilgrim Congregational Church 184 

First Unitarian Church 184 

Holy Names Acarlemy 184 

The Milton Apartments 184 

The Davis Apartments 184 

The Stanley Apartments 1S4 

First Church of Ciirist. Scientist 186 

First Baptist Church 188 

First Methodist Church 188 

The Old Way and the New 252 

Crossing of Pipe Lines Nos. i and 2 264 

Cedar Lake Dam 264 

Pipe Line from Cedar Lake to Seattle Light Power Plant 264 

Cedar River Dam and Intake 266 

Cedar River Above the Intake 266 

Cedar River at Landsburg 268 

Swan Lake — A Reserve Source of Seattle's Water Supjjly 270 

Another \ iew of Swan Lake 272 

The Public Library 288 

H. E. Allen 334 

Regraded and Rebuilt in Three Years 354 

Third Avenue Regrade Near Marion Street 358 

Denny Hill Regrade 360 

Regrading County Court House Plock 362 

Third Avenue Regrade from Jefterson Street 364 

Three Years' Changes in < )ne of the Regrade Centers 366 

Second Avenue Regrade, Below ( )ld Washington Hotel 368 

Lake W'ashington Canal Locks 371 

Canal Between the Lakes. Looking ( )ver Lake Washington 374 

Locks at Ballard, Looking West 376 

Canal Locks, Looking East 378 

King Street, Looking West, About 1900 and in 191 5 382 

Jackson Street Regrade, Looking West 384 

Jackson Street Regrade, Looking North 384 

The Denny ( Washington ) Hotel Prior to Regrading 381') 

The Denny Hotel After Second Avenue Was Cut Down. . . .- 386 

Third Avenue Regrade at Marion Street 388 

Denny Hill Regrading 388 

Third Avenue Regrade. North of -Seneca Street 390 

A Regrade Fill 390 

The Denny Hill Regrade Nearing Completion 394 

Interest in the .Sluicing Work Was L'nceasing 394 

Denny Hill at Second Avenue and \Mrginia in 1907 and 1909 396 

The Great .Seattle Fire at Place of Beginning 420 

Lake Shore & Eastern Depot on Columbia Street, June 6, 1889 422 

Railroad .'\ venue on Columbia Street, in 1915 422 

Seattle, Soon After the Great Fire 424 

Dexter Horton and Arthur Denny 428 

Seattle's First Bank 42^ 

View Showing Banking Business After the Great Fire 428 

New ^lunicipa! Dam Below Cedar Lake 430 

Concrete Dam Below Cedar Lake, Looking East 434 

Cedar Falls, Site of Municipal Light Plant 438 

Outlet of Cedar Lake, Looking East 442 

The New Masonry Dam 44'^ 

( )ld Timber Dam at Cedar Lake 44^ 










Seattle's MosuiiTd fleet lOo 





iiiic ATiiix \\. \( ri\ iTii s 161 





(I1\I''I'ER XI 




U MLUn \liS 243 






















Seattle's great fire 419 


street railways, lighting AND POWER 429 





woman's work 487 










Tim M U N 1 1 1 1 • M I 1 1\ I K V M ENT 545 


EARl.V ^ M' \" 'Kl' 1 M I'ciKT ANT CITY PLATS 5^3 

















i\ rill': I'.i'.cixxixc, 

It is the iiueiuioii of the wrilLT of this work lo bring into it only facts and 
accounts that belong to a history of Seattle. However, the history of the City 
of Seattle and of the Sound country are so closely interwoven that it will be 
necessary to go far anterior to the arrival of the ])ioneers in Mlliott Hay lo 
|(resent a clear understanding of the later years. It is believed the readers of 
its pages will be more ])lease(l with this ])lan than to consume much space in 
descriliing remote incidents about which they are, perhaps, belter informed 
than the writer. 

I''or more than a century preceding the settlement at Alki Point maritime 
expeditions into the North I'acilic had been made by the Spanish, liritish, Rus- 
sian and .\merican navigators, and a brief account of these is proper as a ])relu(le 
to the later events which made the rise of the City of Seattle ])ossiblc. 

In April, 1596, Michael LoU, an luiglishman. met an old Creek navigator 
called Juan de Fuca. at \'enicc. and in the course of their conversation, de Fuca 
ojjcned u|) to him certain of his voyages. On one of these, in 1592, while in the 
service of the X'iceroy of Mexico, he sailed up the coast of Xorlh America until 
he came lo latitude forty-seven degrees where he fotnid a broad inlet between 
the forty-seventh and forty-eighth, and entering it sailed for more than twenty 
days, ])assing many islands. The viceroy ])romised him a great reward for his 
discovery, but the rewanl ne\er came. ;ind de Fuca said that he then lefl the 
service of the viceroy, and intimated lo Lok that he would like to enter the 
service of the Fnglish if for no other reason than to gel revenge on the Spanish 
for their vile treatment of him. Lok tried lo get the old employment, 
but never succeederl, and the old man died. It has since been proved that Juan 
de biica or Apostolos \ alerianos. as he was known in the Creek language, is a 
myth and that I.ok h;id been imjjosed ujion by a clever seaman. However, the 
story became widely known and was ])ublished in the leading geogra])hies of 
the day. It is a remarkable coincidence that his story should be so nearly in 
keeping with the facts. 

Tiie Sp.mish had been ])ushing northward from ^fexico and, witnessing the 
efforts of all the other civilized nations in the r.icific Xorthwest, began to send 
explorers into these waters. On May 2[, 1775, the Spanisfi sent out from 
San T'llas. Mexico, the Santiago, in command of Tiruno Ileceta, accom|)anied 
by the schooner .*>onora. in command of liodega y Ouadra. This expedition 



sailed northward as far as Alaska, and on its return narrowly missed the dis- 
covery of the Columbia River. But they failed to sight the entrance to the 
Strait of Juan de Fuca. 

On Sunday, March 22, 1778, Capt. James Cook, of the British navy, sail- 
ing on his third voyage, made his way along the northwest coast of North 
America and sighted a prominent cape which he called Cape Flattery. He had 
in mind the sujiposed strait or inlet advertised by Juan de Fuca and Lok, but 
after considerable search was unable to find it. It appears that a heavy wind 
arose during the night and when morning came he had passed the entrance. 
Cook remained at Nootka Sound, on what is now Vancouver Island, for over 
a month, engaged in scientific work. 

To Capt. John Meares belongs the honor of sighting the Strait of Juan de 
Fuca. In ]\Iay, 1788, while sailing under the British flag, but in reality under 
double colors, having a Portuguese partner, Meares in the Felice arrived at 
Nootka, and purchased for two pistols some land from the Indian chief, 
Maquinna. He erected a fort here and built a little vessel called the North West 
America. In the latter part of June Meares set out to explore the surrounding 
country, and on Sunday, June 29, 1788, he sighted the great inlet which he 
called after its real discoverer John de Fuca. Of course Meares believed 
implicitly in the story of Juan de Fuca. He made for the southern coast and 
landed upon the shores of what is now the State of Washington, probabl}' at 
Neah Bay, and there was received by a chief called Tatoosh. He saw the 
large mountain to the southward and called it Mount Olympus. He then went 
southward and entered Willapa Harbor which he called Shoalwater Bay, but 
was unable to find a river where the Columbia empties into the Pacific and so 
dubbed the site where he had labored in vain Cape Disappointment and Decep- 
tion Bay. Returning to Nootka, Meares dispatched one of his officers and 
thirteen men in a boat to examine the shores of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 
Meares then left with a cargo of lumber for the Chinese markets and made 
arrangements for his aids to winter in the Sandwich Islands. Later he organ- 
ized a joint stock company for trading purposes under a license from the East 
India Company and proceeded to build up a colony at Nootka of Chinese- men 
and Hawaiian wives. In April, 17S9, two captains of Meares', Douglas and 
Funter, arrived at Nootka. 

In the meantime, the Spanish, alarmed at the fact that the Russians were 
extending their colonies and forts north of California, sent Estevan Jose Mar- 
tinez northward to examine the Russian settlements. He secured information 
that the Russians intended to send four frigates from Siberia to Nootka, where- 
upon he was directed to repair to Nootka and take possession of the place in 
the name of the Spanish king and build a fortress there. By so doing he would 
out-general the Russians. When he arrived at Nootka, however, he found the 
English ships instead of the Russian, and proceeded to take possession of the 
place and to seize the ships and men, taking them to Mexico. The Spanish 
then occupied the fort erected by Meares and established a garrison, first under 
Martinez and later under Francisco Eliza. This was almost an act of war and 
for a while it looked as if Spain and England would leap at each other's throats. 
The Spanish began to compromise by releasing the ships and men and promising 
indemnities to the owners of the vessels for delays, etc. But Meares had now 


arrived in England and he set the matter before the English government on 
April 30. 1790. England demanded not only a payment of damages for the 
individual losses of ships and stores, but demanded also that the lands be restored 
to the sovereignty of the English crown. England was able to secure the prom- 
ise of aid from Holland and Prussia, but as Spain's chief ally, France, was now 
in the midst of a revolution, Spain was forced to meet the British demands, 
and signed a treaty dated October 28, 1790, which provided for an indemnity 
ultimately amounting to $210,000 to be paid by Spain, and the transfer of the 
lands at Nootka to England. Subjects of both powers were left free to visit the 
port. The entire matter was patched up at Nootka in March, 1795. 

It was during these years that the Spanish became quite intimately acquainted 
with the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and made fairly accurate sur\'eys of the 
coasts as far east as Bellingham and as far south as Admiralty Inlet. In 1790, 
Francisco Eliza, who was in command at Nootka, sent Manuel Quimper to 
explore the Strait of Juan de Fuca. He placed Spanish names on most of the 
bays, points, and islands, few of which have survived. In 1792, two scientific 
men, Dionisio Galliano and Cayetano Valdcs, were added to the expedition, and 
they made further surveys. The principal names added to the nomenclature of 
the Sound were San Juan Archipelago, Sucia Islands, Matia Islands, Canal de 
Haro, Port Angeles, Guemes Island, and Fidalgo Bay. Most of the others have 
long since disappeared, although subsequent explorers have honored the Span- 
ish commanders by naming several places for them. 

On the two principal maps left as a heritage by the Spaniards, that portion 
of the Sound now known as Admiralty Inlet, which connects Pugct .Sound 
proper with the Strait of Juan: de Fuca, is called Boca de Caamano. Quimper 
says in his journal, that from his station (now called Port Discovery) he saw 
other inlets and openings to the east, which he called Boca de Fidalgo and Boca 
de Flon. He had, however, no time to explore them. Don Francisco Eliza, 
who advanced in 1791 to the eastern end of de Fuca Strait, recognized for the 
first time this inlet, and called it Bocas de Caamano, probably in honor of the 
Spanish navigator, Caamano. Eliza, however, did not further explore the 
interior of this inlet, because he understood from the Indians that, though it 
was very long, still, from the end of it, one could not advance further unless 
with canoes. Eliza's object was not to explore shut-up inlets, but to find a 
passage to other waters. 

Following closely upon the voyages of Cook and Meares was the expedi- 
tion of George Vancouver who was the first recorded white man to enter Puget 
Sound above the entrance to Admiralty Inlet. Vancouver's expedition was 
partly scientific, partly commercial, and partly diplomatic, for he was detailed 
to meet the Spanish at Nootka .Sound and arrange terms of settlement. He 
sailed from England April i, 1791, with the sloop-of-war Discovery and the 
armed tender Chatham, and after rounding the Cape of Good Hope visited the 
South Seas and the Hawaiian Islands, and then made his way to what was 
then known as New Albion, but which is today called Oregon and Washington. 
He examined the region about Cape Disappointment, but came to the con- 
clusion that there was only an inlet there, and then proceeded northward nam- 
ing Point Grcnville and passing Cape Flattery and entering the Strait of Juan 
de Fuca. Here he met Capt. Robert Gray of the ship Columbia who told him 


that he had discovered a large river at Cape Disappointment, but \'ancoiiver 
would not believe him, and only later did he come to the same conclusion. 
\ ancouver named the mountain which appeared to the eastward Mount Baker 
after his third lieutenant, Joseph Baker; New Dungeness after its resemblance 
to old Dungeness in England ; Port Discovery after his vessel, the Discovery, 
and the little island at the entrance to the harbor. Protection Island, because 
it served as a protection to the harbor both from contrary winds and armed 
attacks from an enemy if the island were fortified. He now came in sight of 
a large mountain to the south-eastward which he called Mount Rainier in honor 
of Rear Admiral Peter Rainier, his friend. Port Townsend he named after 
the Marquis of Townshend. [.\bout 1S50 the "h" was dropped as the word, 
so spelled, proved difficult for the Americans.] He sailed into Hood's Canal 
which he so called after the Right Honorable Lord Hood, and Marrowstone 
Point because it was here that he found deposits of marrowstone. 

He then quickly sailed southward into the main port of the Sound and estab- 
lished his party in headquarters on what is now Restoration Point on Bain- 
bridge Island. This point he first called X'illage Point, probably because it 
was here that he found an Indian village, but he changed the name to Restora- 
tion Point in honor of the fact that the day was the anniversary of the restoration 
of the Stuart monarch, Charles II, to the throne, after the long rule of Oliver 
Cromwell. From his headquarters at Restoration Point Vancxjuver sent out 
small boat parties to make surveys. His lieutenant, Peter Puget. went up the 
Sound, through the narrows and made a fairly good survey of the waterways 
and inlets. This portion of the Sound was called by \'ancouver Puget Sound, and 
the name is ]3robably as euphonious a one as has ever been given to any por- 
tion of the earth's surface. It must be remembered that Vancouver intended 
that only that portion of all these northwest waters should be called Puget 
Sound, but it is interesting to note the development of this word Puget Sound 
as a generic term for all these Northwest waters, ^'ancouver designated these 
waters by five names, viz.: Strait of Juan de Fuca, Canal de An'o. Gulf of 
Georgia, Admiralty Inlet, and Puget Sound, but at the present time all save two, 
Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca, have ceased to be terms of popular 
])arlance. (jnly the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Charts officially 
recognize them. Nor is the term .Strait of Juan de Fuca safe from ultimate 
extinction. In 1859 no less a jserson than Governor Douglas of British Coluiu- 
bia spoke of Vancouver Island as being in Puget Sound, and in a recent decision 
of the Superior Court of Clallam County. Judge Ralston held that for the pur- 
poses of the fishing laws, the Strait of Juan de Fuca was a part of Puget Sound. 

Vancouver, himself, surveyed the land to the southward of Restoration 
Point, and found and named the large island Vashon Island, in honor of a 
friend, James Vashon. This brings up an interesting relationship of names. 
Rainier's sister, Sarah, married Admiral James \'ashon, and Joseph Baker 
married X'ashon's niece, so that in a way Mount Baker, and Mount Rainier are 

The survey of the waterways to the westward of Restoration Point \'an- 
couver intrusted to his clerk, H. M. Orchard, and that is how we get the name 
Port Orchard. Not wishing to be forgetful of the honors w-hich the board of 
admiralty in England had bestowed upon him in selecting him as leader of the 


ex])i'ililioii, X'ancouvcr named the watercourse which extends from the nar- 
rows to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, A(hnirahy Inlet, which name is still ot^cially 
used upon all Government charts, but which is not very generally used by the 
public at large. On \'ancouver's chart a fairly good representation of the 
harbor which is now known as Elliott Bay is set down, but there is no evidence 
to show iJKii \'ani.-ouver's surveyors did any more than sketch it in the rough 
from small boats perhaps a half a mile from mainland. 

His expedition now repaired to the inlet or watercourse to the eastward 
of Wiiidby Island and landed somewhere on the maiidand within the present 
limits of the City of E\crett. Here he prejjared to celebrate the king's [George 
111) ijirihday, it being June 4, 1792. .\s this region is so near to the present 
limits of the City of Seattle I take leave to (|uote a few words from X'ancouver's 

"Sunday, the 3d, all hands were employed in lishing with tolerably good 
success, or in taking a little recreation mi shore; and on .Monday, the 4th, they 
were served as good a dinner as we were able to provide for them, with double 
allowance of grog to drink the king's health, it being the anniversary of his 
majesty's birth: on which auspicious day, I had long since designed to take 
formal possession of all the countries we had lately been employed in explor- 
ing, in the name of, and for his llritannic majesty, his heirs and successors. 

"To execute this purpose, accompanied by Mr. liroughton and some of the 
oflicers, I went on shore about one o'clock, pursuing the usual formalities which 
are generally observed on such occasions, and under the discharge of a royal 
salute from the vessels, took possession accordingly of the coast, from that 
part of New .Vlbion, in the latitude of 39° 20' north, and longitude 21,6' 1(1' 
east, to the entrance of this inlet of the sea, said to be the supposed Straits of 
Juan de Fuca: as likewise all the coasts, islands, etc., within the said straits, 
as well on the northern as on the southern shores ; together with those situated 
in the interior sea we had discovered, extending from the said straits, in vari- 
ous directions, between the northwest, north, east and southern quarters; which 
interior sea I ha\e honored with the name of The Gulf of Georgia, and the 
continent binding the said gulf, and extending southward to the forty-fifth 
degree of north latitude, with that of New Georgia; in honor of his present 
majesty. This branch of .\dmirally Inlet obtained the name of Possession 
Sound; its western arm, after Nice .\diniral Sir .Man Gardner, I distinguished 
by the name of Port Gardner, and its smaller eastern one by that of Port Susan." 

RcceiUly the Daughters of the .\merican Revolution erected a monument, 
in commemoration of this event, within the present limits of the City of liverett. 
.\ bronze tablet upon the monument reads: "On The Beach Near This Spot 
\'ancou\er Landed June 4, 1792. Erected by the Marcus Whitman Cliai)ter 
Daughters of the American Revolution, June 4, 1915." 

Port Susan has almost disappeared as a name; Possession Sound is still 
used for E\erett Harbor; Port Gardner has been rejjlaced by Saratoga Passage; 
while .Man Point is still the southern cape of Camano Island; and the term 
Possession is further used as the name of the south cape of W'hidby Island. 
It is a matter of regret that his celebration could not ha\e taken |)lace nearer 
the City of .Seattle. It is, however, interesting to note that all the land once 
taken possession of by the English and later transferred to the United .States 


of America, is connected in some way with the name of George III. It was 
this king who was reigning when the American Revolutionary war was fought; 
while this country, called by Vancouver, New Georgia, later known as Oregon 
and Washington, was definitely ceded to the United States in 1846. 

Other names which Vancouver gave were : Whidbey Island, in honor of 
the master of his ship Discovery, Joseph Whidbey, who had made extensive 
surveys in this region, and who proved this to be an island. A'ancouver never 
determined that Camano Island was an island but has it set down on his chart 
as a part of the mainland. Point Partridge was named in honor of the family 
into Vi'hich \'ancouver's brother John had married. Other names are: Cypress 
Island, Strawberry Bay, Deception Pass. Bellingham Bay, Point Hudson, 
Birch Bay and Point Roberts. This latter name is of some interest. Van- 
couver was not the first choice of the admiralty as leader of the expedition. 
Another person, Capt. Henry Roberts, had been selected, and Vancouver was 
to go along in the capacity of lieutenant, but just as the expedition was on 
the point of sailing, a war with Spain was imminent, and Roberts was sent in 
command of a ship of war to fight the Spanish, if war were declared, in the 
West Indies. But \'ancouver and Roberts were on good terms and in recogni- 
tion of their friendship as well as a recognition of former intentions, Vancouver 
perpetuated his name in the region which he was once selected to survey. 

Vancouver had other work to do in this Northwest region besides make 
surveys, namely, to carry out certain provisions of an agreement between Spain 
and England, which is known as the Nootka Convention, with the Spanish 
officer stationed at Nootka .Sound, Don Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, 
by name. The two met at Nootka but were unable to come to any agreement, 
although each had a high regard for the other personally, and Vancouver was 
treated with great respect. Quadra suggested that some place be named after 
them both not only to commemorate their meeting but the friendship that 
existed between them as well, so Vancouver named the island upon which 
they met. Quadra and Vancouver Island. Then the two separated. Spain 
gave up her claim to this region, and the fortunes of the countrj', generally 
known as Old Oregon, fell to the United States and Great Britain which nations 
possessed them under a joint occupancy agreement until 1846, when the pres- 
ent boundary was drawn. The name of the island, Quadra and Vancouver, 
persisted upon some maps until in the '50s, but the Quadra was dropped, and 
the Vancouver remains. Vancouver gave many names to British Columbia and 
Alaska as well as to the State of Washington. 

After his return to England he devoted himself entirely to the preparation 
of his journal for publication; but died while the work was on the press. May 
10, 1798. His brother John, with the assistance of Captain Puget, completed 
the work which was' dedicated to King George III, the first edition being pub- 
lished in 1798. 

In 1670 Charles II of England granted to Prince Rupert and associates a 
charter giving them the exclusive right to trade with the Indians of the region 
about Hudson Bay, and a company was then formed to take advantage of 
this charter. It was called the Hudson's Bay Company, and like most of 
the early English companies did the threefold work of fur-trading, governing 
the region, and defending the country from a possible foreign enemy. For 


over two centuries this company maintained a monopoly; but after that time 
a rival company which disputed its monopoly, the Northwest Company, was 
organized, and these two organizations expanded, moving across the Canadian 
wilds. About the beginning of the nineteenth century they moved from north- 
western Canada into the unowned country known as Oregon, and proceeded to 
organize it. 

The Americans had been keenly alive to the opportunities of the fur- 
trading business in the West, but they never succeeded as well as their English 
rivals. Chief among the American companies was the one promoted by John 
Jacob Astor, but just as he was getting started the War of 1812 with England 
came on, and the English compelled the surrender of his post at the mouth of 
the Columbia. His associates on the ground lost no opportunity in accepting 
the offer of the Northwest Company to buy them out, and the fort, known in 
historj- as Astoria, became the proiierty of the English, and its name changed 
to Fort George, in honor of the ruling monarch, George HI. 

About 1 82 1 the two English companies grew tired of the rivalries of each 
other and merged into one company retaining the name of the older company, 
the Hudson's Bay Company. With a view to organizing the Oregon coun- 
try. Governor Simpson came down from Northwest Canada and arrived at 
Astoria or Fort George, in the fall of 1824. He organized this region as the 
District of the Columbia and placed Dr. John McLoughlin in charge as chief 
factor; he made arrangements for the removal of headquarters from Astoria 
to a newly selected site further up the Columbia River to be called Fort Van- 
couver because it was near to the site generally known as "Vancouver's far- 
thest." This was in 1824. A second post, a trading post, was planned and 
built on the Eraser River and known as Fort Langley. The expedition which 
located Fort Langley is interesting to us, as one of the clerks, John Work, has 
recorded it in his journal, also some of his descendants live in Seattle. The 
proposed expedition left Fort George or Astoria in November, 1824, and was 
under the command of James McMillan. It made its way by canoe and portage 
from the Columbia River to Gray's Harbor via Baker's Bay and Willapa Har- 
bor; thence up the Chehalis River to the Black River, up that stream to its 
source. Black Lake, then by portage to Eld Inlet, and finally by Puget Sound to 
the Eraser River. After a brief examination of the river the party returned, 
but when reaching the Chehalis River divided into two groups, one going by 
the route whence it had come, the other making overland to the Cowlitz River 
and down that stream to the Columbia. This is one of the first recorded uses 
made of the Cowlitz trail, so well-known to the early pioneers. In June, 1827, 
the same commander, James McMillan, headed the expedition which was to 
build Fort Langley. The Cadboro, a vessel famous in the historj' of the Sound 
was to assist, and she went by way of the Pacific. The overland expedition, 
however, came up from Vancouver by the Cowlitz trail, which shows that the 
trail was just coming into use. Fort Langley was built in the fall of 1827 and 
James McMillan was placed in command. At this place a few of the entries 
in the journal of John Work are quoted as they throw much original light and 
color on the early nomenclature about Seattle : 

"Tuesday, 7th. Wind Easterly. Overcast cold weather, foggy in the morn- 
ing. Embarked at Yi past 7 o'clock and proceeded 3 miles N. E., 6 E. and 


26 North, in all 35 miles. Encamped at 4 o'clock in the evening. Our course 
lay through narrow channels about 3^ mile wide and some wide openings 
formed by traversing bays and channels formed by islands and points. I'assed 
a channel on the E. side, the last of the bays receives the Oualax River. 
[PuyallupJ Stopped at another little river where there was a village [Steila- 
coom] of the Nisqually Nation consisting of six houses, these are miserable 
habitations constructed of poles covered with mats, we were detained ij^^ 
hours at this village, getting two men and a woman, wife to one of them, 
to act as interpreters and guides for us. The men are both of the Sanahomis 
tribe [Snohomish] and are not intelligible to any of our party, neither do 
they well understand us but they, at least one of them, understands the lan- 
guage of the Coweechins which is the name of the tribe at the entrance of 
what is supposed to be Eraser's River. The woman speaks antl understands 
the Chenook language pretty well and is to interpret to the men. Two canoes 
with 8 Indians passed our encampment in the evening, and when it was dark 
the Indians visited our camp, these people are from the Interior and belong 
to the . . . The Nisqualy Indians speak a language different from any 
we have seen yet. Where we are encamped is an island [\'ashon] where we 
see the marks of some horses which the Indians have on it. The appearance 
of the shores is much the same as yesterday, still bold and high, composed of 
clay and generally wooded to the water's edge. Where we encamped last night 
we found abundance of mussels at low water. 

"Wednesday, 8th, some rain in the afternoon, wind Easterly. We were on 
the water at 7 o'clock and made according to estimation a distance of 36 
miles, N. 5 miles, W. 3, northeast 5 and north 23. We were 7-;4 hours on 
the water, 3^4 of which we both sailed and paddled with mild breeze, we 
concluded that we made at least 5 miles per hour. \\'e, this day, proceeded 
through a fine channel formed, as the other, by the mainland and an island. 
Passed an opening on the E. side in the morning and on the same side a 
bay [Elliott Bay] into which the Sinananimis River [Duwamish River] flows. 
On the West side we came through the Soquamis Bay from which there is a 
small opening to the Westward. Where we are now encamped opposite to a 
wider channel or opening [Admiralty Inlet] which runs to the W'estward, it is 
very deep with a number of islands in its north side and through its entrance. 
The channels through which we passed may be 3 or 4 miles wide, the shores 
appear the same as yesterday. We stopped at the Soquamis village situated m 
the bay. Port Madison of the same name. It consists of 4 houses, we saw only 
8 or ten men, but understand several of the inhabitants were off fishing. Our 
object in stopping here was to get the chief to accompany us an an interpreter, 
but he was not at home. The houses are built of boards covered with mats." 

The line of communication between Forts Vancouver on the Columbia and 
Langley on the Eraser River was too great and dii^cult of passage, and before 
a half dozen years had elapsed the company decided to locate a post midway 
between the two. It is not known why the choice fell to a little prairie at 
Sequalichew Creek, but it is probable that the locators desired a port on Puget 
Sound where sea going vessels could land, and also a place not far removed 
from the Cowlitz trail. 

Here, in the spring of 1833, Archibald C. McDonald built the trading post 


known as Xisqually House or I""ort Nisqually. h was more of a post than a 
fort, consisting of a main hall for business, a hall for the assembled Indians 
to congregate in, quarters for the men, who seldom numbered more than a 
dozen, shops, bams and other buildings. The buildings were crudely con- 
structed of hewn timbers ant! whijj-sawed boards, plastered within and cov- 
ered with cedar bark without. The business of the post was three-fold : Trad- 
ing in furs with the Indians, raising grain for cxiwrt to Russia and the 
Hawaiian Islands, and salmon packing for the export trade. In time the 
beef, salmon and grain trade became the chief form of enterprise of the posts 
of l.angley. Xisqually and \"ancou\er, for the Sound country was never very 
rich in furs. As lime went on several extensive farms were added to Nisqually 
post. While the plowing and more skilled work was done by the em])loyes 
lit the Hudson's liay Company, among whom were natives of the Sandwicii 
Islands, a large amount of work was also done by the Indians who were fairly 
quick to learn some of the more menial tasks. 

Nisqually secured the Indian trade of most of the Sound region. The 
Makah, Clallam, Skagit. .Snohomish, Twana, Duwamish, Nisqually, Chehalis 
and Cowlitz tribes were frequent visitors to the ]X)st. At times Indians from 
east of the mountains brought their furs to Nisqually. coming either by way of 
.\aches Pass or a more northern route. The chief furs secured were from the 
beaver, sea otter, black bear, lynx, musquash and deer, and these the Indians 
bartered for blankets, guns, and various other articles, chiefly those of dress. 
.\ blanket brought two first-class beaver skins. The em])loyes of the company 
were very closely allied with the Indians with whom most were intermarried, 
and the lialfbreed children usually remained in close contact with the post. 
While the Indians disliked the Nisqually officials because of the high tariffs 
imposed, nevertheless, they soon regarded the trading ])ost as an indispensable 
adjunct to their ci\ilization. The Indian never had much use for the settler, 
but he had a common interest in the trading post. 

Here at Nisqually, in the early '30s, the Indians received their first instruc- 
tion in the white man's religion, anil seemed to make some progress, although 
die example set by the employes was hardly ins])iring. 

In the S])ring of 1834 the company decided that the ])osts Langley and 
Xisijually could be sujiplanted to advantage by a post established midway 
between the two, and several surveys were taken of the country on Whidby 
Island in the vicinity of Ebey's Landing and Fort Casey. It was decided 
diat a post should be erected there and the men and materials were on their 
way from Nisqually when the expedition was recalled owing to disorders at 
Xisqually which needed the immediate attention of the commander. It .seems 
hardly possible that the fate of a post on Whidby Island should hang on so 
-light an accidental factor, but although the company continued to siieak of 
W hidby Island as a future site, the post was never built, and Langley and 
Xis(|ually served as they had in the past. It is interesting to note the possible 
cfTect such a post might have had on the subsequent history of the State of 
Washington. Had the I'.ritish been in possession of a post on Whidby Island 
in 1X46 when the Oregon question was settled and a Ixjundary line permanently 
established it might have been so drawn as to include as Rritish Territory 
the entire San Juan archipelago as well as Whidby Island. 


While looking for the proposed site for the new post, one of the employes 
of the company, Ouvrie, by name, suggested the site later known as Seattle. 
Under date of July 8, 1833, the following entry is recorded in Dr. William 
Eraser Tolmie's diary at Nisqually House : 

"Ouvrie having frequently talked about a spot favorable for an establish- 
ment, it has been agreed that I am to start this evening accompanied by 
Ouvrie and five or six Indians in canoe to examine the place and return tomor- 
row night." The diary for the succeeding day mentions passing "Payillipa 
Bay" and other points along the east side of the Sound, and in the forenoon 
"landed on the prairion so much admired by Mr. A. and Ouvrie. It was about 
one mile in length and from one hundred to one hundred and fifty yards in 
extent, raised about thirty feet above the sea level, towards which it presented 
a steep, clayey bank. Surface flat and dotted with small pines, but soil com- 
posed almost entirely of sand. Its breadth was measured from the base of the 
steep wooded bank which lines the coast throughout to the margin of the 
same. At its northern extremity the coast is indented with a bay five or six 
miles wide, and perhaps three long, into which Ouvrie's River flows, described 
by him as equal in size to the Cowlitz. On the opposite shore of this bay 
was pointed out to me the countries of Sannahomish, Keatchet and Shalatchet 
tribes lying in the above order from the mouth of Ouvrie's River, to the point 
marking the extremity of the bay. The south side of bay and river is inhabited 
by the Tuamish [Duwamish] Indians, of whom we saw several parties along 
the coast, miserably poor and destitute of fire arms. The opposite coast of 
Sound is possessed by the warlike Soquamish with whose chief all were on 
friendly terms. A fort well garrisoned would answer well as a trading post 
on the prairie where we stood. It would have an advantage of a fine prospect 
down the Sound and of proximity to the Indians but these would not com- 
pensate for an unproductive soil and the inconvenience of going at least one- 
half mile for a supply of water." The next morning they breakfasted on 
parboiled peas eaten with a shell out of a potlid. This place later became known 
as Alki Point. No future attempt to establish a post there was made by the 
Hudson's Bay Company. 

With the completion of Fort Nisqually the old route to the Columbia River 
via Eld Inlet, Black River, Chehalis River, Gray's Harbor, Willapa Harbor and 
Baker Bay, was abandoned, and henceforth the portage route to the Cowlitz 
River was used instead. Every old pioneer is familiar with Cowlitz Landing 
and the old road to the northward. This route was the heritage of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, and in its day did good service. When the pioneer settler came 
to Washington Territory he complained of the trials he had to endure in the 
way of poor roads ; had it not been for the work done by the company he 
might have been in a worse plight. 

In the spring of 1846 the British frigate, Fisgard, forty-two guns, and a 
crew of 352 men, under the command of Capt. J. A. Duntz, anchored ati Nis- 
cjually. This was just before the settlement of the Oregon question, and Presi- 
dent Polk's aggressive policy of "Fifty-four Forty or Fight" had made war a 
possibility even if not a probability. Another British vessel of similar mis- 
sion, the Modeste, anchored in the Columbia River. The Fisgard was accom- 
panied by the paddle-sloop Cormorant, six guns, commanded by G. T. Gordon. 


On board the Fisgard was Robert M. Inskip, naval instructor, who proceeded 
to erect at Nisqually a naval training station wherein to instruct the young 
midshipmen. Most detailed surveys of the upper portion of the Sound were 
made by this instmctor and a few new names added to the nomenclature of 
that region. The hall wherein the school exercises were held was standing when 
the first settlers came to the Sound, and was for a long time known to them as 
the "castle of indolence." 

Drilish vessels came up and down the Sound and Fort Nisqually became a 
place of some consequence. However, the war talk subsided; Polk did not 
secure all he wanted, and the Oregon question was peacefully settled by the 
Treaty of 1846 by which the Forty-ninth Parallel of north latitude was con- 
tinued westward to Puget Sound and the boundary line then drawn through 
the lower Sound waters through the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Pacific Ocean. 
By the terms of the treaty the region north of the Columbia River became 
United States Territory, and Nisqually and Vancouver lost their sovereign 
power. They ceased to be forts, and were subject to the laws of the United 
States. The Hudson's Bay Company, and its subsidiary company, the Puget 
Sound Agricultural Company, continued to operate these establishments as 
private individuals, until the property was purchased by the United States 

Thus passed a great enterprise. It had rendered a great service on the 
Sound. It had educated and pacified the Indians for thirty years. The early 
pioneers were well treated by the trading posts, which helped many of them 
by loans of cattle and advances in foodstufTs to carry them over the unpro- 
ductive periods when they were getting started in the world. 

Many persons were in charge of Fort Nisqually during its existence. Per- 
haps the best known of these was Dr. William Eraser Tolmie. He was born 
in Inverness, Scotland, and educated as a naturalist which included medicine 
and surgery. Botany was his special study. Under the patronage of Sir Wil- 
liam Hooker, the famous naturalist, he secured, in 1832, an appointment with 
the Hudson's Bay Company and in company with another appointee, a Mr. 
(iairdner, also a naturalist, set sail from London, aboard the Ganymede, and 
arrived off Cape Disappointment April 30, 1833. Here he received orders from 
Doctor McLoughlin to repair to Milbank Sound to assist in founding of Fort 
McLoughlin. While enroute he arrived at Nisqually, and because of an acci- 
dent to a valuable employe, Doctor Tolmie was forced to remain there and 
treat him. While here, he made the first attempted ascent of Mount Rainier. 
In November he reported for his destination. In 1834 he was surgeon with an 
expedition under Ogdcn on the Stikene River, then served at Fort Simpson ; 
finally goiug to Milbank Sound where he remained until February, 1836, when 
he took up his abode as surgeon and trader at Fort Vancouver, remaining until 
1840, when he was granted a year's leave of absence. The year 1841 he seems 
to have spent in organizing agricultural establishments in the Willamette Val- 
ley. In 1841 he returned to England where he remained until 1843, attending 
to the agricultural interests of the company. During these years he had 
acquired a knowledge of Spanish, having in mind an appointment to the post 
at Verba Buena. but upon his return was given the suijerintendency of the 
Puget Sound Agricultural Company at Nisqually, where he remained until 1859, 


moving to X'ictoria, but still managing affairs for ijuth the Hudson's Uay 
Com])any. antl the Puget Sound Agricultural Company at Nisqually. 

The cause of the purchase of Xisqually and other posts of the Hudson's 
Bay Company in United States Territory was the antagonism of incoming 
settlers who coveted the lands occupied by the company. When Doctor Tolmie 
left, Edward Huggins, a clerk, remained as custodian at Nisqually. There 
were many attempts at settlement in the '50s. The American Civil war delayed 
a settlement, although Secretary of State Seward and Lord Lyons completed 
an arbitration treaty in 1863. Under the terms of that treaty a decision was 
readied in iSCx). Under its terms the company was paid for its property. Mr. 
Huggins became an American citizen, and took over the site of Nisqually as his 
homestead which he continued to occuiiy until about ten years ago when he 
sold out to the Du Pont Powder Company. 

Lly far the most interesting, although the least known of the ex])editions 
to the Sound was that of Lieut. Charles Wilkes in 1841. It was this explorer 
who. on November 8, 1861, intercepted at sea the English mail steamer Trent 
and took off the confederate commissioners James Mason and John Slidell 
assigned to France and England. Wilkes was born in New York, April 3, 
1798, and entered the navy as a midshipman in 1818, and after successive promo- 
tions was given command of the expedition which was to be known as the 
United States Exploring Expedition. The oljject of this expedition was scien- 
tific, but if the secrets of the war office were known it is quite probable that it 
was also political. Wilkes received his instruction August 11, 1838, and sailed 
from Norfolk, on the i8th of the same month and year, with a squadron of 
\essels consisting of the sloops of war Vincennes and Peacock ; the brig Por- 
poise ; the ship Relief ; and the tenders Sea Gull and Flying Fish. His instruc- 
tions required him to visit Rio Janeiro. Tierra del Fuego, Valparaiso, the 
Na\igator Group, Figi Islands, Hawaiian Islands, the Northwest Coast of North 
America. San Francisco, Japan, China, and other places. 

Only that ]5ortion of the expedition which has to do with the immediate 
vicinity of the City of Seattle is considered. xAfter a cruise of o\er two years 
the expedition arrived oft" the mouth of the Columbia River on April 5, 1841 ; 
but finding it almost impossible to effect an immediate entry, made its way to 
Puget Sound and anchored in Port Discovery May 2. iS4[. Here he dispatched 
some Indians to make known his arrival to the Hudson's Bay Company's 
officials Anderson and McNeil at Nisqually House, and to secure a pilot to 
lead his vessels through the narrow maze of the Sound waters ; but failing to 
hear anything from them in due course of time, made his own way cautiously- 
southward, when he met the officials and named the place Pilot Cove because it 
was here that he secured his pilot. After a short sojourn at Nisqually House, 
where he received a cordial welcome, he set his men to work making surveys 
of the Sound; he sent out an expedition under Lieutenant Johnson across the 
Cascades Mountains and into various parts of what is now the eastern part of 
the State of Washington. This party, so far as is known, was the first to 
ever pass through the Nachess Pass, although it is reasonably certain that the 
Hudson's Bay Company's servants were acquainted with the pass, as two of 
their men accompanied Lieutenant Johnson in the capacity of guides. Wilkes, 
himself, made an excursion down the Cowlitz River to the Columbia and thence 


iiuti Oregon ; uliilc aiiotlicr of his lieutenants, Kid, by name, made a trip to 
Gray's Harbor and made a survey of the region. Many \ohimes were the 
fruits of tliis expedition and much new information was gathcreil by his 
eminent scientists, and on ahiiost every subject. Historically the expedition is 
of most interest to the people of Seattle because of the surveys which it made. 
i'rof. lulniond S. Meany of the University of Washington, in the Sunday edi- 
tions of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for May 23, May 30, and June 6, 1915, gave 
a thorough account of the work done in these surveys. His articles are entitled 
Origin of Point Defiance and Other Names of Pugct Sound; Origin of deo- 
graphical Names in the \icinity of Seattle; and Origin of Geographical Naiues 
in the San Juan Archipelago. .\ few of the most imi>ortaiit will be given. 
CommeiKement P>ay on which the City of Tacoma is now situated he so called 
because it was here that he commenced his work. Point Defiance received its 
name from the fact that it commands the narrows "which, if strongly fortified, 
woulil bid defiance to any attack and guard its ciilraiice against any force." 
Maurv Island was in honor of William L. Maury of the expedition. Golvo's 
Passage to the west of Vashon Island was secured from the name of Lieut. 
(Icorge W. Colvocoressis, but Wilkes wisely dropi)ed the Greek sounding ap])en- 
dix. Hale's Passage was in honor of Horatio Hale, his i)hilologist. I'ox 
Nland was in honor of J. J. l'"ox. assistant surgeon of the expedition, .\iider- 
son's Island and McNeil Island were named in token of the services received by 
Wilkes from them both in providing him with a pilot and in other ways at Nis- 
<iually House. Alexander Anderson was a chief factor for the Hudson's I'.ay 
C'omiianv, and Capt. William Henn,' McNeil was the .second commander of the 
famous steamer Reaver. Carr's Inlet and Case's Inlet for two of his lieutenants. 
Ilartstene Island for Lieut. II. J. Hartstene. Other important names he gave 
ill the u])per part of the .Sound were: Henderson, Hudd, Eld. Totten and 
Ilammersley inlets, in honor of officers aboard his vessels. .\ half hundred 
or more of points and capes were likewise named by W ilkes, of which 
l>ersist to this day. P.Iake Island oi)posite Elliott Pay was named in honor of 
(ieorge Smith Plake. who had charge of the United States Coast Survey from 
1837 to 1848, and who was always more or less in close touch with Wilkes. 
Alki Point is a recent name which will be treated on other i)ages ; \\'ilkes named 
this point Point Roberts to honor .\rmourer Humphrey Roberts. Elliott P.ay, 
on which our city is situated, is in honor of the chaplain of the Vincennes. Rev. 
J. 1.. Elliott. 

P.efore Wilkes iiuule these surveys it was thought that what is now Bain- 
bridge Island was mainland, and it was Wilkes who first m.icle this discovery. 
.'Vs Professor Meaily ])oiiited out. the naming of P>,-\iiibridge Isl.ind in honor of a 
hero of the War of 1812 brought together a group of names of famous ])er.sonages. 
On this island is Port P>lakeley. and what is now Yukon Harbor Wilkes called 
P.arron's P.ay. William Bainbridge acted as second for Commodore Stcjihen 
Decatur who fought a fatal duel with Barron. Not far from this group of 
names the sloop-of-war Decatur was stranded on a reef in 1856, hence the 
name of Decatur Reef. 

Eagle Harbor was named because of some supposed resemblance to a bird, 
and the two capes to the harbor are called P.itl Point and Wing Point. Port 
Madison and Points Monroe and Jefferson are all in honor of former 


dents of the United States. Port Ludlow was in honor of Lieut. Augustus 
Ludlow who was with Captain Lawrence in the famous naval duel between the 
Chesapeake and Shannon, in 1813, and who lost his life. He named Appletree 
or Apple Cove because he saw supposed apple blossoms on shore. There are 
no apple trees but an abundance of dog-wood trees which produce blossoms 
which probably deceived him. West Point, which is the north cape of Elliott 
Bay, was named by Wilkes. The present passage between Whidby and Camano 
Islands is called Saratoga Passage, and many old pioneers can no doubt recall 
the time when Camano Island was called McDonough's Island. Wilkes called 
the passage Saratoga Passage and the island McDonough's Island. Now Cap- 
tain McDonough commanded the expedition which defeated the British squadron 
on Lake Champlain, and his ship was the Saratoga. ^McDonough's Island has 
disappeared as a term and Camano has taken its place btit the term Saratoga 
Passage is meaningless without the knowledge that the Island of Camano once 
honored McDonough, her commander. 

It is a matter of regret that all the names given by Lieutenant Wilkes can- 
not be reproduced. A few names in the present San Juan Archipelago cannot 
be passed by. Wilkes was a young naval officer who had entered the service of 
the navy in 1818 — too late to take part in the War of 1812. He had read of 
all the war heroes and knew their deeds by heart. So he decided to honor them 
by placing their names on the various islands, bays, points and mountains in this 
archipelago. The largest of the islands, San Juan of the present time, he called 
Rogers' Island, in honor of Commodore John Rogers, who as commander of the 
President captured the British sloop of war Little Belt. Lopez Island he 
called Chauncy's Island for Chauncy was in command of the entire naval forces 
operating on the Great Lakes. The most interesting bit of nomenclature history 
relates to the naming of places about the present Orcas Island. This island 
he called Hull's Island ; West Sound he called Guerriere Bay ; East Sound he 
called Ironsides Inlet ; and the large mountain upon the island he termed Mount 
Constitution. Only one of these four names has persisted to the present day — 
Mount Constitution. The story is simple and known to all readers. Capt. 
Isaac Hull commanded the United States frigate Constitution, nicknamed the 
Old Ironsides, which captured the British frigate Guerriere. Likewise \\'ilkes 
named Fidalgo Island Perrj-'s Island in honor of Commodore Perry who won 
the victor}- over the British on Lake Erie, and to the beautiful mountain he 
gave the name Mount Erie. Like Mount Constitution Mount Erie is the only 
surviving piece of nomenclature. One can almost make a history out of the 
nomenclature given by Lieutenant Wilkes among what is today the San Juan 

Lieutenant Wilkes was interrupted in his work upon the surveys of the 
San Juan Islands by a messenger who brought wrird that his ship Peacock had 
been wrecked at the entrance to the Columbia River, and he was forced to make 
a hurried departure, never to return to the Sound. His account of the expedi- 
tion was published in several small editions in the early '40s, but his complete 
works took many years before completion and several of the proposed volumes 
were abandoned. There were only 100 sets of the complete works pub- 
lished and these were distributed to all the friendly powers and one set to each 
state and territory then in the Union. Portions of the \vorks are now in the 


state library at Olympia. Unfortunately, the historical part of the expedition 
is brief; and the scientist part more voluminous. The Atlas of Charts, however, 
is remarkable, considering the time which was spent and the instruments at 
hand. Wilkes made the first calculation of the height of Mount Rainier. From 
I'uget Sound he departed to the Columbia River where he was regarded with 
suspicion and even hatred by the sturdy pioneers who wanted to see an Amer- 
ican Government in Oregon, and to whom Wilkes was not verj' sympathetic. 
From Oregon the party went to California and then left to cross the Pacific 

In the light of later events it appears that Wilkes never regarded Elliott 
Bay as remarkable. Of the harbor he made a detailed map, but he did this of 
many harbors about the Sound both good and bad. In his narrative he has no 
word of description about the harbor. He seems to have regarded the up])er 
portion of the Sound most favorably, at least from the militar)' standpoint. But 
this is going to be the case with most of our early discoverers, pioneers, explorers 
and others. Seattle was not located or planned. It arose because of inherent 
commercial advantages which had to be learned by later promoters through 

W'ilkes' was the last of the exploring expeditions, and the Hudson's Bay 
Company, despite the fact that it made a pretense as an agent of civilization, 
was in reality nothing more than a frontier post. With them we pass from the 
history of the wilderness to the history of civilization, of the farmer, settler and 

The early '40s witnessed the coming of that class of persons whose activities 
formed the basis for our great cities on the Sound. In the fall of 1849 Samuel 
Hancock, started from Olympia in a canoe with a crew of Indians, in search 
of coal, which he had been informed had been noted at several points along the 
Sound. He says : "The first night we camped at the mouth of the Puyallup 
River. We left here and proceeded slowly northward, for the prevailing winds 
are so violent at this season that at times it is unsafe to travel in canoes. My 
Indians were an.xious to stop, but I insisted on continuing, though the wind was 
now blowing a half gale, and they seemed a good deal alarmed for our safety. 
I lowever, we reached Alki Point, an excellent harbor against the prevailing 
winds in winter, without accident. [This journal was prepared for publication 
in i8(X), but never ]niblished. The notes were taken from day to day by Mr. 
1 lancock. This will explain why he mentions "Alki Point" years before its 
naming.] A great many Indians came from their houses to the beach here to 
ascertain where we came from. All the Indians I have met with in this region 
have a great deal of curiosity, and they are certain to know very soon after 
your arrival amongst them all that the Indians who are with you are in posses- 
sion of in relation to jx)u. So they were soon pretty well posted in regard to 
me; indeed, such was the nature of my business that I desired they should know, 
as I expected to derive considerable information from them about the coal. 
As they seemed well disposed, I opened my valise and gave them all presents, 
to llie men pipes and tobacco, to the women small looking-glasses and brass 

From Alki Point he went down the Sound and during his explorations he 
went up the Snohomish River and visited and described the falls of the Snoqual- 


mic. the first recorded account, though the visit of Capt. Robert Fay was made 
about the same time, probably. 

In tlie fall of 1850 Col. I. N. Ebey wrote from Olympia to M. T. Sim- 
mons an account of an exploration he had recently made of the valleys of the 
Puyallup and Duwamish rivers. 

He gave a vivid and truthful description of the rich Puyallup Valley as far 
as where the Aluckleshute Indian Reservation was afterward established. Com- 
ing on down the Sound he entered this bay which he called the Duwams. His 
party ascended the crooked ri\er that he also called the Duwams to the forks. 
What is now called Black River he spoke of as a continuation of the main 
stream. He says : 

"The river meanders along through rich bottom land, not heavily timbered, 
with here and there a beautiful plain of unrivaled fertility, peeping out through 
a fringe of vine maple, alder or ash. or boldly presenting a view of their 
native richness and undying verdure. Other plains of more extensive character 
are represented as being near at hand, and of sufficient fertility to satisfy the 
most fastidious taste. 

"At a distance of about twenty miles from the bay the river forks — the 
right fork bears the name of Duwams. It has its source about ten miles to 
the north in a large clear lake [Lake Washington]. This stream has an aver- 
age width of about twenty yards. The country along its banks partakes of the 
same character as that lower down the river. A few miles of this stream will 
be found quite rapid, offering many fine opportunities for mill privileges. Sand- 
stones of a good quality for building materials make their appearance along this 
stream. The lake from which this stream has its source is of considerable extent, 
surrounded princijially with woodland, consisting of cedar, fir. ash. oak, etc. 
It \aries in width from one to six miles. 1 traveled on it to the north a dis- 
tance of more than twenty miles without finding its terminus. The water is 
clear and very deep ; from the beauty of the lake and the scenery surrounding 
it we christened it b}- the name of Geneva. Another lake of less extent lies 
about six miles east of Gene\a, and connected with it by a small stream. 

"Between Geneva Lake and Admiralty Inlet there appears an extensive coun- 
trv of low lan<l that has never been examined by white men. and wdien examined 
I ha\e no doubt will be found very valuable. The distance from the Inlet to 
Geneva Lake in many places cannot exceed a few miles, as the Indians make 
portages across with their canoes." 

Colonel Ebey also went up the valley of what is now called White River, 
but did not give it a name. He intersected his former trail up the Puyallup. 


The history of Seattle began September 2!~t. 1S51, wlieii the vanguard of the 
lirst settlement at Alki Point arrived tiiere. The settlement on the Duwamish 
River two weeks earlier was only a farming enterprise, and their claims were 
l)eyond Seattle's boundaries for thirty years or more. 

\\'hen they left their homes in the East the majority of the settlers at 
Alki and Seattle intended to locate in the W'illametle \alley, but on reaching the 
country west of the mountains they heard so much al>out the Sound country 
that they determined to investigate it sooner or later. 

While the members of the pioneer party were at Portland, John X. Low and 
David T. Denny, who were on the lookout for homes, set out for Puget Sound 
after they had driven T.ow's cattle to the Chehalis \'alley for winter range. 
Arthur A. Denny, the elder brother, and the leading spirit in the expedition 
which had crossed the plains from Illinois, had heard so much of the Sound 
country that he decided to becxDine better acquainted with it before deciding to 
settle elsewhere, but an attack of ague made it necessary for him to remain at 
Portland while his brother and Low went on ahead. 

.\t ( )lympia the two were joined by Lee Terry and Capt. Robert C. Fay. 
and the four came on to the Duwamish River on a prospecting tour. They 
spent their first night under the trees on the promontory of what is now West 
Seattle, called Sgwudux i)y the Indians. The next morning Low, Denny and 
Terry hired two young Indians of Chief Seattle's band to take them to the 
Duwamish River in a canoe. 

.-\fter ascending the Duwamish several miles Low and Terry landed and set 
out over an Indian trail to look at the country, leaving Denny to follow in the 
canoe with the Indians. As they did not appear when night set in Denny 
landed and camped for the night at a jilace afterward known as Maple Prairie. 
Mis companions arrived the next morning in a canoe which they had obtained 
from the Indians at the mouth of Black River. The party returned to Sgwudux. 
where they remained during the night of the 27lh. In the evening a scow passed 
them on the way to a settlement which had been made a few days earlier by 
Luther M. Collins, Ilenry Van Asselt and the father and son, Jacob and Samuel 
Maple, on the banks of the Duwamish River. Two women, the wife and daugh- 
ter of Collins, conversed in Chinook with Captain I-'ay. On September 28th the 
party moved their camj) to Alki Point, where a ])ermanent settlement was 

They made up their minds that they had reached the end of their journey. 
Terry and Low iuul visions, and in their enthusiasm they determined that 
some day a city would build itself back of the point. It is not strange that this 
place that later was called .\lki should have been selected by these earliest set- 



tiers for a townsite. It was either a natural prairie or the timber had mostly 
been burned off. This made it easy to put up the first buildings. The beach 
was sandy and gravelly and the upland easily accessible. It had an unobstructed 
view of the Sound northward and southward and of the Olympic Mountains. 
The few sailing craft then visiting the upper Sound passed near it, and the 
smaller boats and canoes made of it a convenient port of call. Elliott Bay was 
guiltless of settlers and there was then nothing that attracted visitors. The 
point was well protected from southerly storms but the small craft that har- 
bored there soon found it dangerous when the winds and waves swept in from 
the north. 

They erected a rude shelter to protect them while they put up a more pre- 
tentious cabin. Their townsite was called by them New York but visitors 
smiled and said, "Yes, by-and-by." This was translated into its Chinook 
equivalent, "Alki," and ere long that was its only name. 

Captain Fay had been on the Sound for some time and was the owner of the 
boat on which they had come from Olympia. While they had made their pros- 
pecting trip up the river he had gone on down the Sound looking for a good 
place at which to put up salmon to ship to San Francisco. He returned on the 
28th and spent the night with Low, Denny and Terr}-. It was in compliance 
with his advice that the first houses were put up with logs instead of split cedar 
boards because they would oft'er greater protection from bullets in case of 
troubles with the Indians. 

Low immediately hired Denny to remain on the claim with Terry while he 
returned to Portland for his family. He carried with him a letter from David 
Denny to his brother urging him "to come at once." 

The first structure erected at Alki Point was a brush shelter made with 
boughs laid over a pole stipported by crotched sticks. Here Terry and Denny 
slept while they began the erection of the first log cabin, the foundations of 
which were laid September 28, 185 1. In the construction of Seattle's first 
building they enlisted the services of the Indians who had already begun to con- 
gregate there, giving them in payment bread and trinkets. While they were 
thus engaged Luther M. Collins and an Indian passed along the beach driving 
oxen to Collins' claim. These are believed to be the first draught animals brought 
into King Count}^ Early in November Collins again passed on his way to 
Olympia with his scow, and Terry joined him, leaving young David alone on 
the claim among the Indians to continue work on the cabin and complete it 
if possible before the arrival of the main party from Portland. 

At this time the schooner Exact, Captain Folger, was fitting at Portland for 
a voyage to Queen Charlotte Island with gold prospectors, intending to touch 
at the Sound with emigrants. The party determined to take passage on her. 
She sailed on November 5, 1851, and cleared at Astoria on the 7th. On Novem- 
ber 13th the schooner dropped anchor off the point and there disembarked 
from her the party that founded Seattle. David Denny was glad to see them. 
Just previous to their arrival some skunks had invaded his quarters and par- 
taken so generously of his rations that there was little left for him to eat. Mr. 
Denny says, "Our first work was to provide shelter for the winter and we fin- 
ished the work begun by my brother and Lee Terry for J. N. Low." Thus the 
first house was built for Mr. Low. D. T. Denny was hired to assist in the con- 


stniction, had no ownership rights either in the claim, the house, or the town- 
site, all up to this time being owned by Low alone or by Low and Lee Terry 
jointly. In the party were twelve adults and twelve children, A. A. Denny and 
family, John N. Low and family, C. D. Borcn and family, W. N. Bell and 
family, and Charles C. Terry, who with Lee Terry and David T. Denny 
brought the number of adults up to twelve. 

After the Low house was finished it was occupied by the others in order to 
avoid the rain which was falling ever)' day. The second house was a log struc- 
ture for A. A. Denny which increased the house-room so that all were com- 
fortable. With the construction of this house the timber adjacent suitable for 
log houses was exhausted, whereupon the settlers split cedar puncheons and 
built houses for Bell and Boren. These were considered quite fancy but not as 
substantial as the log houses. The winter quarters were no sooner completed 
than commerce found the little colony and there commenced the trading that 
has since made Seattle one of the well known seaports of the world. 

In December, 1851, the brig Leonesa, Capt. Daniel S. Howard, dropped 
anchor off the little settlement seeking a cargo of piles. The settlers took the 
contract to load his vessel and while the rest of the men and boys devoted 
themselves to taking out piles and hauling them out by hand, Lee Terry went 
to Puyallup and secured a yoke of oxen, which he drove to Alki Point along the 
beach. After the arrival of the cattle the contract was speedily completed. 

During their first winter on the Sound Denny, Boren and Bell explored the 
surrounding countrj- and early in 1852 seriously took up the task of selecting 
claims for ihemselves, for their cabins had been erected on the land of Lee Terry 
and Low. Accordingly they examined the coast toward Puyallup, but not lik- 
ing the prospect in that direction began to examine the country around Elliott 
Bay. They realized that the life of the settlement would depend upon its abil- 
ity to sell piles and timber, for there were several other thriving settlements on 
Puget Sound and a market had already been established. A harbor, therefore, 
was essential; in fact it was the important consideration, for the land was 
pretty much alike in all directions. 

They used a canoe as their craft, and Bell and Boren handled the paddles. 
With a bunch of horseshoes attached to a heavy line, Arthur Denny "heaved 
the lead," and noted the soundings which convinced them that Elliott Bay 
offered the greatest promise. They began their work about daylight, passing 
over to the north shore and taking soundings from .Smith's Cove southward. 
The water proved very deep in the bay and they were forced to keep close to 
the shore for quite a distance for the line to reach bottom. Stopping at a 
spring near the beach, they rested for a time. As he looked over the bluflt 
Mr. Denny observed a break in the forest. Thinking this indicated a break 
in the continuous woods, he climbed up the bank to discover a gently sloping 
hillside over which a fire had passed, deadening the trees. Some of these, 
particularly the alders, of which there were many at that particular place, had 
fallen over, leaving an opening. It was this place, which by his right of dis- 
covery, he afterwards ciiose for his home. During the afternoon the party 
paddled south, up the bay. As they passed slowly along the shore from their 
noon resting place, they saw the bluff diminish in height, lowering from thirty 
or forty feet down to fifteen, and, in less than half a mile, to only five feet or 



less. Then it disappeared, and they came upon a little crooked tide stream, ', 
with muddy banks and salt grass on the margin along the tiny meadow. Xear 
this point was a curious circular knoll thirty or forty feet high, with steep 

sides. Beyond was obser\ed an Indian house, no longer inhabited, partly I 

overgrown with wild rose bushes, which flourished along the shore. It stood i 

near the present corner of First Avenue South and Yesler Way. South of i 

the little tide stream they coasted past a low wooded flat but a few feet above j 
tide water. They continued their voyage around the head of the bay, reaching 
liome by nightfall, not only well pleased with the excursion, but thoroughly 
satisfied as to the fitness of the bay as a harlxjr and the promise of its eastern 

shore for a home. Thus they explored for timber, harbor and feed for live i 

stock, and finally on February 15, 1832, marked three claims in one body at ' 
the present heart of Seattle. The southern boundary was fixed at what is 

now King Street and First .\venue South. This was the .southern boundary ' 

of the claim of C. D. Boren. Next north was the claim of A. A. Dennv, and 1 

north of this claim was that of W. N. Bell, all fronting on the Sound. .\ | 
little later D. T. Denny located his claim north of Bell's, fronting on the 

.'sound and on Lake L'nion as well. Each claim embraced about three hundred j 

and twenty acres. All were in township 25 north, range 4 east, Willamette j 

Meridian, though the land, of course, had not been surveyed, nor obtained by | 

treaty from the Indians. . 

Aleanwhile there were neighbors to the south along the banks of the Duwa- 1 

mish. who were to have a vital interest in the making of the city, and we must ', 

go back for a niiinite to pick up the incidents which brought them in touch | 

with the first settlers here. On September 14. 1851. Luther M. Collins, Henry j 
\'an Asselt. Jacob Maple and his son Sanuiel. whose names have already been 
mentioned, arrived at the mouth of the Duwamish River, having come over- 
land from the Columbia River to the Sound. At Olympia they hired two 
Indians and a canoe, and after two days of travel reached their destination. 
They made the first settlement in King County. 

The four men took claims; Luther M. Collins, who with his wife and two I 
children, had first settled in the Puyallup \'alley, the nearest the mouth of the 

river; Jacob Maple next; above him, Samuel Maple; and adjoining him on | 

the south, Henry \'an Asselt. On the claim of the latter the city plant of ! 

the Denny-Renton Clay and Coal Company is now located. They experienced ! 
much difficulty in bringing their live stock to their new location. .\ scow 
used at first proved unequal to the task and was abandoned. The animals 

were then driven along the tide flats with great difficulty and not a little ; 

danger. They finally arrived at Alki Point and soon reached the place after- | 

ward called Milton and still later named West Seattle. But it was found that ' 
the mud flats could not be traversed, neither could the woods, so the scow was 

again brought into use, and the animals were finally landed in safety at Col- ' 

lins' claim. They then returned to Nisqually and moved the Collins family ! 

down and built cabins on their claims. Mr. Denny said their permanent loca- I 

tion was made September 14, 1851 ; but E. B. Maple claimed that it was made , 

June 22, 1851, on the day of their first arrival. Other settlers on the river ] 

later were G. Holt, G. Hograve and William Ralston, whose claims were where 1 

South Park now is. > 


For a time Mayiiard had carried on a small merchandising in Olympia. 
where he had made friends of his customers but not of his competitors in a 
business way. The doctor had done a good deal of traveling about the Sound 
and made the acquaintance of large numbers of Indians. He had gained the 
friendship and confidence of Chief Seattle, after whom the village was named, 
and was persuaded by him that this region was a most favorable trading point. 
Maynard was not long in deciding to make the change. He put all his unsold 
stock on a scow, anil with Indians as his only companions set sail down (he 
Sound. On his arri\al at .\lki he found most of the settlers there arranging 
to remove to the eastern shore of Elliott I'.ay. These urged him to join them, 
which Maynard soon decided to do. By mutual agreement he selected the most 
southerly claim, its northerly line meeting Boren's at Yesler Way. 

.\t that time the 'T'oint," as it was soon called, was an island at times of 
full tide, of about eight acres in extent. .\t Washington Street the inlet 
extended across First Avenue South from al>out Railroad Avenue. From First 
.\venue South eastward it covered ,i nuich wider space and then narrowed 
again near the present Union Dejjot. Thence westerly along the general course 
of King Street to Railroad Avenue; thence northerly to Washington Street. 
It was covered with a heavy growth of fir and cedar and the usual dense under- 
brush. The sawdust and waste from Vesler's mill were used to fill in the low 
ground at Washington Street and the flow of the tides was soon shut ofT, but 
it was more than thirty years later when it was shut out at the easterly inlet. 

-Maynard's official land entry named April 3, 1852. as his date of settlemeiU. 
\\ ith his accustomed energy he at once set to work to provide himself with a 
store building, availing himself of white and Indian labor, and in a few days 
was selling goods in it. It was eighteen feet wide and twenty-six long, with an 
attic in the front half of it. The walls were of logs and the roof of shakes, 
the usual name for s])lit boards about four feet long. It stood at the present 
northwest corner of First Avenue South and Main Street. The unbroken 
forest was a few' feet away on the east and the steep bank above tidewater on 
the west. The stores of that jieriod included under one roof the necessaries 
of pioneer life as far as attainable, clothing, hardware, groceries, tools, ship 
chandlery, and Maynard's was the first of its kind in Seattle, although Low and 
Terry had conducted a similar business at .\lki. 

.Among his other activities he immediately set to work to put up salmon for 
shipment. That season he sent to San Francisco nearly one thousand barrels of 
salted salmon. The barrels were made on the ground where they were packed, 
though where he got the coopers is not recorded. Procuring the fish was a 
simpler matter, as the Indians supplied him with all he could use. On its arrival 
in .San Francisco most of the shipment was found to be spoiled, and his venture 
prove<l almost a total loss. 

During this time he had men skilled with the broadax squaring timbers, and 
others cutting piles and shaving shingles. A cargo of these was shipped to San 
Francisco on the brig Franklin .\dams; 12,000 lineal feet of squared timbers, lineal feet of piles. 10,000 shingles, and 30 cords of wood. All of this 
cargo found a ready market at good prices and from il he more than recouped 
his losses on the salmon. 

In the Columbian Maynard's advertisement of the "Seattle Exchange" appears 


later as follows: "The subscriber is now receiving direct from London and 
New York, via San Francisco, a general assortment of dry goods, groceries, 
hardware, etc., suitable for the wants of immigrants just arriving. Remember, 
first come, first served. Seattle, October 30, 1852." 

He also advertised for a blacksmith and promised him constant employment. 

At the time of these pioneer settlements all the northern part of the Sound 
country was included within Thurston County. Col. Isaac N. Ebey was the 
only member from Thurston County of the Legislature which met in Salem, in 
the Willamette Valley, in December, 1852, his colleague having resigned. Colo- 
nel Ebey introduced bills to have Pierce, King, Jefferson and Island counties set 
off from Thurston, and these bills became laws during that session. 

In July, 1852, the commissioners of Thurston erected a voting precinct and a 
school district here and named it Dewamps. All of the eastern shore of Puget 
Sound north of the Puyallup River was within its limits. 

At an election that fall Arthur A. Denny received all of the votes in the pre- 
cinct and was elected to a seat in the Legislature, but he never took his seat. The 
election was December 7th. The Legislature convened at the same time. The 
official returns were so slow in reaching the capital that the Legislature had 
adjourned before he could receive his certificate and reach Salem. 

The Columbian was then the only newspaper published north of the Columbia 
River and in politics it was ardently democratic. It spoke about the election at 
the time, but as Mr. Denny was of the opposite party the paper did not publish 
the fact of his election. 

On April 3, 1852, Bell, Boren's family and Doctor Maynard moved from 
Alki to their claims, leaving behind A. A. Denny, who was too ill from ague to 
come over until a house could be built. At first Bell camped on the north side 
and Boren on the south side of the claims, continuing thus until they could build 
cabins. This they soon did and then built one for A. A. Denny at what is now 
the intersection of Western Avenue and Battery Street. This location was unde- 
sirable, and a little later Denny built another residence at the northeast comer of 
First Avenue and Marion Street. The united claims were so divided that each 
could have access to the Sound and the claims were made as nearly equal as 

Had the first settlers on the east side of the bay been seeking farms they 
would not have chosen their claims where they did. The prospect of clearing 
off the heavy timber that extended from the banks overlooking the Sound every- 
where to the lakes would have appalled them ; but as this forest was to be the 
means of affording them a livelihood for years, it was calculated to attract rather 
than to repel them. The estimate that the clearing of the forest and underbrush 
from the present site of Seattle has cost more than all the filling in of the tide 
flats is a modest one. Not even the actual excavation of the earth during the 
progress of the city's numerous regrades has amounted in cost to the sum total 
in%TDlved in removing the trees and their enormous roots. No great city on the 
American continent has overcome so many natural obstacles encountered in its 
growth. The expense of clearing the land, leveling down the hills and filling up 
the waters of the bay and the lakes, together with the enormous added cost of 
sewer tunnels, intercepting and trunk sewers, to keep the sewage out of the lakes 


and carry it six or eight miles off to the Sound, make an aggregate that must 
have reached twenty, perhaps twenty-live, niilhons of dollars. 

So quickly was it known after the hegira from Alki began that Seattle was 
soon to have a sawmill that only a few log cabins were put up, perhaps eight or 
ten, and only a couple of these, Maynard's store and Ycsler's cookhouse, were 
of considerable size. .Ml of these but the cookhouse disappeared during the 
later '50s. 

The type of log cabin of the American, pioneers has not greatly changed 
since the landing of the pilgrims. Usually it was about sixteen feet square. At 
each end of the logs the upper side was hewed into triangular shape ; the next 
tier had notches cut in tliem on the lower side to fit closely over the lower logs. 
About eight feet from the ground, at each end- of the structure, the logs were 
carried up from four to si.x feet farther and gradually shortened and sloped 
toward the ridge. On these were laid, three or four feet apart, substantial 
rafters, to hold the shake roof. The shakes were usually held in place by poles 
placed over each rafter and the two substantially fastened together with wooden 
pins. .Xfter the logs for the cabin had been brought on the ground and fitted 
for use it was the custom for the neighbors to aid in rolling lliem into ])lace by 
means of "skids," or long poles. 

With ax, adze or broadax. two or three augers, drawshave and a handsaw, 
wonders were accomplished in building and furnishing these cabins. Often not 
a i)iece of metal entered into their construction. Between the logs they were 
first "chinked" with moss, and this was held in place by strips of wood outside 
and inside, though often clay served the same ptirpose. Where straight-grained 
logs could be secured "puncheons" were split and hewed into a semblance of 
smoothness, and out of these the floor, tables, benches, stools and door were 
fashioned. Often the latter was made with an upper and lower section, and was 
a trium])h of art and strength, with hinges and bars equally calculated to resist 
all ordinary methods of breaking it open. At one end the bar worked on a 
pivot and at the other end it dropped into a notch. At this end a strong leathern 
thong was fastened and its free end passed through a hole above in the door. By 
tliis sini])Ie expedient the door could easily be barred or unbarred. In peaceful 
times the thong was not drawn in at night, and from this custom the phrase 
originated, "The latch-string is always out." equivalent to open-handed hospi- 
tality. The door with its two sections served a double purpose. When the 
upper section was open the interior was well \entilated and also lighted, after a 
fashion. By keeping the lower section closed the dogs, pigs and chickens were 
kc[)t out and the babies kept in. Some of the cabins boasted at least one small 
window with glass panes, though often instead of glass it had thin cotton cloth 
or even strong white paper oiled to make it semi-transparent. In the cabin 
where the writer was bom in Illinois the oiled paper served this purpose. 

Wherever most convenient an opening was left in the wall to a height of 

about six feet from the ground and the same width. Into this the face of the 

fireplace was fitted and the chimney built outside reaching above the peak of 

the roof. If stones suitable for the purpose could be obtained they were used, 

but more often sticks were laid neatly one above the other, forming a crib, and 

on the inner face of the fireplace and chimney a coating of clay was liberally 
» 1. 1—3 


plastered. After lires had been kept for a time the clay hardened and not often 
required patching or to be removed. 

At night many primitive methods of lighting were in use to supplement the 
firelight in the open hearth. Pitchwood, tallow dips and fish oil lamps were in 
frequent use. Even a shallow dish filled with oil in which one end of a wick or 
piece of cotton cloth was immersed and the other end lighted served at times to 
partially dispel the darkness. 

Sixty years ago the kerosene lamp first made its appearance on the Pacific 
Coast, and was regarded by its fortunate possessor as the ultimate in convenience 
and dazzling brightness. The depravity of the gas meter was then unknown 
and electric lighting undreamed of, also the exactions of the plumber and the 
building regulations of later years vexed not the soul of the householder. 

Pins driven into holes in the walls sujjported substantial shelves for the 
dishes and the few articles of clothing that might be in use. Longer pegs, held 
up at the inner ends by uprights driven into the earth or in holes in the floor, 
supported long strips of split boards, and on these were laid cedar boughs, moss 
from the trees or dried fern or grass. On such a mattress were spread the 
blankets, and no sweeter slumber now comes to the couch of down than visited 
the pioneer in his rude bunk in the olden time. 

The crane in the fireplace, the bakeoven on the hearth for the bread, and the 
reflector for the biscuit, all were a part of the household economy. Soap was 
made out of grease and lye; ax handles and brooms were whittled from ash, oak 
or maple sticks; much of the cobbling, as well as carding of wool, spinning of 
yarn and knitting of socks and stockings, was done in each household. "Quilting 
bees" among the women and "log-rolling" among the men were about the only 
opportunities for relaxation and social enjoyment. On such occasions the neigh- 
bors gathered from near and far to take part in them. 

A most vivid presentation of the conditions existing here in the early days 
is made in Inez Denny's "Blazing the Way," from which several paragraphs are 
extracted : 

"These primitive habitations were necessarily scattered, as it was imperative 
that they should be placed so as to perfect the titles of the donation claims. 
Sometimes two settlers were able to live near each other when they held adjoin- 
ing claims, others were obliged to live several miles away from the main settle- 
ment and far from a neighbor, in lonely, unprotected places. 

"What thoughts of the homes and friends they had left many weary leagues 
behind visited these lonely cabin dwellers ! 

"The husband was engaged in clearing, slashing and burning log heaps, cut- 
ting timber, hunting for game to supply the larder, or away on some errand to 
the solitary neighbor's or distant settlement. Often during the livelong day the 
wife was alone, occupied with domestic toil, all of which had to be performed 
by one pair of hands, with only primitive and rude appliances; but there were 
no incompetent servants to annoy, social obligations were few, fashion was 
remote and its tyranny unknown ; in short, many disagreeable things were lacking. 
The sense of isolation was intensified by frequently recurring incidents in which 
the dangers of pioneer life became manifest. The dark, mysterious forest might 
send forth from its depths at any moment the menace of savage beast or relent- 
less man. 



"The big grey tiinher wolf still roamed the woods, although it soon disap- 
peared before the oiiconiing \va\e of invading settlers. Generally quite shy, 
they required some unusual attraction to induce them to display their voices. 

'"On a dark winter nif,dit in 1853 the lonely cabin of D. T. and Louisa Denny 
was visited by a pair of these voracious beasts, met to discuss the remains of a 
cow. beltjnging to W. N. Bell, which had stuck fast among .some tree roots and 
• lied in the edge of the clearing. How they did snarl and howl, making the 
woods and waters resound with their cries as they greedily devoured the carcass. 

"The pioneer couple who occupied the cabin entered no objection and were 
very glad of the protection of the solid walls of their primitive domicile. The 
next day Mr. Denny, with dog and gun, went out to Innil them, but they had 
departed to some remote region. 

"On anotiier occasion the young wife lay sick and alone in the cabin above 
mentioned and a good neighbor, Mrs. Sarah Bell, came to visit her, bringing 
some wild pheasant eggs the men had found while cutting spars. While the 
women chatted, an Indian came and stood idly looking in over the half-door and 
his companion lurked in the brush near by. 

"Jolm Kanem, a brother of the chief, Pat Kanem, afterward told the occu- 
pants of the cabin that these Indians had divulged their intention of murdering 
them in order to rob their dwelling, but abandoned the project, giving as a reason 
that a "haluimi kloochman' (another or unknown woman) was there and the 
man was away. 

"Surely a kind Pro\ idence watched over these unprotected ones that they 
might in after years fulfill their destiny." 

In October, 1852, H. L. Yesler, of Portland, arrived at Seattle in search of 
a suitable location for a sawmill. The point on the bay where the claims of 
Boren and Maynard joined (now Pioneer Place) suited him, and as none of the 
claims had yet been filed at the land office in Oregon City, the two settlers, 
Maynard and Boren, agreed to surrender to him a strip of land where their 
locations joined in order to give him a water frontage for his claim and at the 
same time secure a sawmill, a very important industry for the contemplated 
village. .Ml the settlers were willing to make concessions, sacrifices, in order 
to expand the settlement. The plat of the proposed village and the name were 
agreed upon before the arrival of Mr. Yesler, so that his name did not appear 
as one of the proprietors of the first town plat. 

When Yesler's mill started, in 1853, the first logs were furnished by Doctor 
Maynard. Hillory Butler and William Gilliam had the contract to take these 
logs to the mill from a tract adjacent to First Avenue South and Main Street, 
which they did, rolling them down with handspikes. Doctor Maynard designed 
to lay out lots where these logs were cut. George F. Frye, Edward Hanford, 
John C. Holgate, T. D. Hinckley, David Phillips and Jack Harvey helped supply 
the mill with logs during the first few years. When white help was lacking 
Mr. Yesler employed the Indians. George Frv-e was Mr. Yesler's sawyer, anfl 
his engineers at the different times were T. D. Hinckley, I-. V. Wyckoff, John J. 
Moss and William Douglas. A. A. and D. T. Denny also worked in this mill, 
as did nearly all of the early residents. Lumber from this mill was sent to 
China anfl other foreign ports, as well as to San Francisco. 

On Xovember 19, 1852, Dr. D. S. Maynard. justice of the peace, married. 


at Seattle, John Bradley and Mary Relyea, both of Steilacoom. This was prob- 
ably the lirst marriage ceremony performed in Seattle and in King County. 

During the year 1852 the settlers spent their time building homes, planting 
gardens, getting out piles and timber, and providing for the care of live stock. 
Several vessels visited the Sound settlements that year, among them the brig 
Franklin Adams, Captain Felker, and the brig John Davis, Captain Plummer. 
Each vessel carried a stock of general merchandise from which the settlers 
secured their earliest supplies. During the winter of 1852-53, which was very 
severe, there were several months when vessels did not visit the Sound settle- 
ments and the settlers suffered greatly in consecjuence. Late in 1852 Air. Denny 
paid $90 for two barrels of pork and S20 for one barrel of flour. One of the 
barrels of pork was tost on the beach. The settlers lived on potatoes, fish, 
venison, sugar, syrup, tea, coffee. Flour sold at one time during the winter as 
high as S40 a barrel. Flour came from Chili, sugar mostly in mats from China, 
and pork and butter around The Horn from the Atlantic cities. On one occa- 
sion A. A. Denny and J. N. Low went to Fort Nisqually in a big canoe propelled 
by four Indians and returned with fifty bushels of little red Indian potatoes, 
which were heaped up on green hides in the bottom of the canoe. 

It was not only difficult to travel in early days, but was difficult to live. The 
high cost of living was then burdensome as now. In the winter of ^852-53 
flour sold in Portland at from $20 to S24 a barrel, and Ijutter at $1.50 a pound. 
At Olympia flour was $25 a barrel; potatoes, $2.50 a bushel; and beef, 16 cents 
a pound. But as a compensation, in San Francisco squared timbers sold at $45 
and sawed lumber at $70 per 1,000 feet. 

One of the arrivals of 1852 was Dr. Henry A. Smith, for whom Smith's 
Cove was named, and who was the innocent creator of a joke that went down 
in the annals of the city. In the course of his work of settlement he started 
out one day to blaze a trail from the co\e which still bears his name to the 
Milage of Seattle, became lost without knowing it and described a huge circle 
which brought him to his own back fence. Here he sat for some time and 
reflected on the similarity between this strange clearing and his own. The story 
was too good to keep, and Seattle laughed at him for many a day. 

Another important arrival of the same year was George N. McConaha, a 
lawyer by profession. He had come from Missouri, first to Sacramento, where 
he was esteemed as one of the brightest men at the bar. Hoping to win higher 
honors here, he came to the territory in 1852, and was elected from King and 
Pierce counties a member of the Council of the First Territorial Legislature, 
and was chosen president of that body. 

There seems to be no record of the exact time that the name Seattle was 
chosen by the founders for the new town. However, it had become well 
known by that name as early as the fall of 1852. The first few settlers realized 
the importance of selecting a name that would reflect credit on the metropolis 
they hoped some day to build and various suggestions were made. It was found 
that some of the land upon which the city now stands already was known by 
name, the Indian words Mukinkum and Tsehalalitch having been applied to 
some of it. The Thurston County officials, being under the necessity of giving 
the precinct some name by which it could have a place in the official records, 
called it Dewamps, from which the modern name Duwamish was evolved. 


There was at the head of a colony of IncHans who lived in the neighbor- 
hood of the new settlement a dig^iilied old chief by name Seattle. He was 
popular among all the whites, and as his name was short and euphonious the 
movement to name the town after him gained some headway. The sentiment 
was crystallized May 23, 1853, when the plats were fded under the name "Town 
of Seattle." The chief was not moved to emotional depths that made any ripple 
on his usual dignified bearing when he became acquainted with the fact that the 
honor had been conferred upon him. but throughout the remainder of his life 
he continued to manifest his friendship for the whites upon every occasion, and 
no one ever regretted that his name was adopted as that of the great city that 
subsequently replaced the forests in which he and his braves pursued game. 

Thomas Mercer left his family in Salem during the winter of 1852-53 and 
came o\er to Puget Sound to investigate conditions here, and he was so well 
satisfied with the village that he went back and in the spring brought his family 
with him. Dexter Horton and wife were members of the same party. They 
arrived here in April, 1853. Even though they then gave no indication of the 
prominent part they were later to play in the development of the city, their 
arrival was one of the most exciting things that had occurred in the settlement, 
for Mercer brought a team of horses and a wagon. Mercer speedily became 
."^cattle's entire transfer system, and by adding dairying to his teaming grew to 
be an important factor in the life of the town. He took up a donation claim, the 
eastern end of which was the meander line of Lake Union, and what is now 
known as Mercer Street was the dividing line between his claim and that of 
D. T. Denny. 

There is no contemporaneous published record of early events in this region, 
save here and there an advertisement or a paragraph in the Olympia papers, 
excepting the official account of the Indian war. Seattle's first newspaper did 
not appear until the fall of 1863; the men were mostly all too busy to keep 
diaries. Arthur A. Denny's charming little book was published in 1888. Fred 
Grant's history of Seattle was written about 1890, and published the following 
year. Nearly all the pioneers were then living and its facts were obtained first 
hand, and are well and accurately presented. Inez Denny had her father's 
diary to consult and her own memory and that of other members of her family 
older than she to aid her in writing "Blazing the Way." Thomas W. Prosch 
liad access to the diary of Doctor Maynard and the valuable personal aid of 
Mrs. Maynard while preparing his monograph of David S. Maynard. These 
four l)ooks are almost the only original sources extant, and under strict historical 
interpretation even they do not fall within the category, but their substantial 
accuracy is indubitable. Personal acquaintance with nearly all the first local 
pioneers and much knowledge of those early days, and of the actors amid them, 
has led to frequent and copious selections from their pages. It was a sad 
coincidence that the author of two of these four books should have been drowned, 
though Mr. Prosch did not meet with the fate that befell his one-time friend 
and companion, Fred J. Grant, until twenty years later. 

Previous to the appearance of the white settlers the Alki site had not been 
a general camping ground for the Indians, but they soon began to come and 
build rude houses near those of the whites until it is claimed over one thousand 
were there. They were friendly and seemed to regard their location near the 


whites a protection against their Indian enemies, and the whites did not object 
for fear of offending them. 

The first store in King County was opened at Alki Point in November, 1851, 
and Charles C. Terry was the pioneer merchant. From notes in a httle menioran- 
.dum book of his that has been preserved it appears he had the ftarethonght to 
secure a small lot of merchandise in Portland and have it shipped around on the 
Exact at the time the families were brought to Alki. The list includes the fol- 
lowing: I box tinware, I box axes, i box tobacco, I keg brandy, I keg whisky, 
I box raisins. Terry lost no time in putting up a little cabin in which to display 
his goods. In addition to his Portland shipment he had bought from a trading 
schooner 25 barrels pork, 3,500 pounds flour, 150 gallons molasses, 800 pounds 
hard bread, i case boots, i case brogan shoes, i bale domestic, i dozen pieces 
prints, I cask whisky, 6 dozen hickory shirts, i dozen window sash, i bo.x 
glass 8x10, I dozen grindstones, Y2. dozen crosscut saws, Yz dozen files, i case 
mustard, i case pepper sauce, 400 pounds sugar. With these goods opened up, 
young Terry put up a sign that he was ready for business. So far as the 
meuTorandum book discloses, Mr. L. M. Collins was the first customer at the 
new store; at least, he opened the first account, and is charged with 6 pans, 
I large and 2 small water pails, 6 pint basins, i coft'ee pot, 2 frying pans, 2 candle- 
sticks and I dipper. 

Alki had a number of business houses in addition to that of Charles C. Terry. 
In April. 1853, Samuel Lambert and W. M. Smith opened an establishment which 
they called the "New York Wholesale and Retail Store and Ship Chandlery," 
in which they kept a general assortment of merchandise. They advertised that 
they were "constantly receiving goods from San Francisco by the clipper brig 
Leonesa, which makes the quickest trip of any vessel coming into the Sound." 
They also kept a letter box for the reception of letters of strangers and resi- 
dents, and a "register for travelers and others to register their names." In 
September the firm dissolved partnership and called for a settlement of accounts. 

In the spring of 1853 Stilwell & jMcMillen announced that they had estab- 
lished a cooper shop at Alki, where they would keep a full line of barrels particu- 
larly for the salmon industry. 

George & Co. advertised a full supply of groceries, flour and liquors received 
throvigh the bark Harriet Thompson and the schooner Willimantic. 

The enterprise of Seattle pioneers was beginning to attract widespread 
attention. The Columbian of August 20, 1853, said : 

"Seattle is thriving. All the accounts that we receive from thence tell us 
of new buildings and other improvements. Yesler's steam sawmill is working 
finely. Alki is full of vigor and goaheaditiveness ; her commerce is increasing 
and her men of business are doing well. Renton's steam sawmill will be in 
operation in a few days. The enterprising inhabitants of these two places, near 
together as they are, seem determined that their full, high and important destiny 
shall be achieved as soon as possible. Success attend them, say we." 

Immediately after the founding of Seattle new arrivals began to make their 
homes in the village or to take claims nearby. 

Hillory Butler and wife, George N. McConaha and family, Thomas S. Rus- 
sell, Robert Russell, George F. Frye, Franklin Matthias, David Phillips, L. V. 
\Vyckoft, M. D. \A'oodin, Ira Wooden, John A. Chase, William G. Latimer, 


Charles I'lunimer, Joseph WiHiamson, David Maurer, Robert Gardner, Jacob 
W'ibens and George Bowker soon identified themselves with the affairs of the 
village permanently. While William Hebner, S. M. Ilolderness, J. W. Margrave, 
lohn Margrave, N. H. Oglesbce, Gideon Hubbard and Thomas Stewart settled 
licre, and were for a time active in affairs, Ihcy did not long remain in this 

On the l)ay lo the south claims were taken by John C. Holgate, Edward 
Ilanford, John J. Moss and Seymour Hanford. The latter did not perfect his 
title to his claim. On Lake Washington were E. A. Clark, Walter Graham, 
lohn Harvey. Timothy I). Hinckley and Lemuel J. Ilolgatc. About half way 
between bay and lake Seymore Wctmore and family look up their claim. 

To the north was Dr. Henry A. Smith on Smith's Cove and about and near 
Salmon Bay were Edmund Carr, E. I\L Smithers, David Stanley, Ira W. Utter, 
John Ross, I'Vancis McXatt and William A. Strickler, besides Josci)h Overholts, 
Henry 1\. and lUirley Pearce, w^ho remained but a short time. 

At the mouth of the Duwamish River was Charles Walker, and a little farther 
up the river were U. Conklin and wife. Above these the Maple-Collins settle- 
ment has been mentioned elsewhere. Farther up the river were John Buckley 
and wife, J. C. Avery, G. T. Grow, Dr. S. L. Grow, George Holt and August 
Hogravc. Of these only Buckley and wife long rciuained in the county. 

(^n the Duwamish, not far below the confluence of Black River and nearby 
on Black and White rivers, were \\'illiam H. Gilliam, Joseph Foster, Stephen 
I'ostcr, John Carr, II. H. Tobin, .\. F. Bryant, Dr. R. M. Bigelow, Charles E. 
Ilrownell, O. M. Eaton and Josepli Fanjoy. The latter two were murdered by 
the Indians east of the mountains while they were going further north on a 
]in)S])ecting tour. 

William V. Smith and family were the first to settle on Cedar River near tlie 
|)resent Town of Renton. 

t)n White River below the present Town of .\uburn were William 11. Bran- 
nan and wife, George King and family, Harvey Jones and family, Enos Cooper, 
Moses Kirkland. Samuel W. Russell and family, Jose])h and .Arnold Lake, Henry 
Adams, John M. Thomas and wife, Robert H. Beatty and I). A. Neely and 

On the up])er reaches of the White River were .\. L. Porter, Doniiiiick 
Corcoran and James Riley. 

In the summer of 1S53 there were in King County 170 white settlers, of 
whom 1 1 1 w ire nun and voters. In the whole territory there were 3,965 white 

David S. Maynard and Catharine T. Broshears were united in marriage 
I.inuary 15, 1S53, by the Rev. Benjamin Close at the bride's home near Olympia, 
and they caine at once to Seattle to live. 

Mr. Close had recently been assigned to the District of Northern Oregon 
and stationed ;it Olympia. Tie was at that time the only Protestant clergj'man 
on the Sound. 

On the 23d day of January, 1853, David T. Denny and Louisa Boren were 
united in marriage by Justice of the Peace Maynard, at the home of her brother 
.\rthur. Their certificate of marriage was the first issued in King County. It 
is attested by D. S. Maynard, J. P., and H. L. Yesler, clerk. Not long after- 


ward they bundled their few effects into a canoe and moved into a small cabin 
that recently had been erected near the water front on their donation claim. 
Their daughter Inez writes that the first meal partaken of in this cabin con- 
sisted of salt meat from a ship's stores and potatoes. At times this diet was 
varied by substituting fresh salmon for "salt horse." 

In the Town of Seattle, December 29, 1853, by the Rev. David E. Blain, 
Mr. William H. Brannan, recently from Winnebago County, Illinois, was united 
in marriage with IMiss Elizabeth Livingston, recently from Marion County, 
Indiana. They were among the victims of the massacre by the Indians near the 
present Town of Auburn in October, 1855, as noted elsewhere. 

The story of Seattle's development is written in epochs. The first was the 
erection of the steam sawmill by Yesler. It gave the settlement a start and a 
guaranty of future existence. The stack that emitted the Yesler smoke was the 
pioneer of thousands of others; the city grew up around it, and Henry L. Yesler 
was the father of the city's industries. 

The action of Boren and Maynard in moving their lines to accommodate 
Yesler is a significant episode in the life of Seattle, as it marked the first con- 
certed attempt of the town to attract industries to itself. True, the motive was 
entirely selfish, for the presence of the sawmill could have but one effect on the 
adjacent land, which prior to the establishment of the mill could not rightfully 
claim to be of any more value than any other shore lands for miles in either 
direction. But all civic loyalty may be the offspring, in part at least, of enlight- 
ened selfishness; a campaign for more railroads or more factories is carried 
on with money cheerfully subscribed by people whose idea is to benefit the city 
in which they live and thereby enhance the value of all the property within that 
city. The enterprise of Boren and Maynard was on a par, therefore, with the 
later eft'orts greater bodies of her citizens have put forth to bring new industries 
to Seattle. 

In the case of Yesler's mill the advantage to the small settlement became 
apparent as soon as work of construction was commenced. Work was given 
every adult in the settlement, and when the operation of the mill began logging 
became practically the only source of revenue of the settlers. By sheer strength 
of their bodies the men laid low the stately trees that made the site of the future 
city a forest, rolled them to tidewater and towed them with small boats to the 
mill. There was no other way to do the work and full advantage had to be taken 
of the accommodations which the gods had provided, as the steep hills back of 
the water front presented grades that eased somewhat the work of handling logs 
without the ecjuipment that makes them the playthings of the machinery of 

The Columbian of October 20. 1852, remarked: "We have heretofore 
neglected to notice the fact that there is a new steam mill in process of erection 
by Mr. H. L. Yesler at Seattle, north of the Duwamish River, and which, we 
are told, will be ready to go into operation early in November next and no mis- 
take. Huzza for Seattle! It would be folly to suppose that the mill will not 
prove as good as a gold mine to Mr. Yesler, besides tending greatly to improve 
the fine town site of Seattle and the fertile country around it by attracting 
thither the farmer, the laborer and the capitalist. On with improvement. We 
hope to hear of scores of others ere long." 


Sc])tcnil)cr lo, 1852, the Cohinibian, the first newspaper published north of 
tlic Columbia River, made its appearance in Olympia. In it ajjpearcd the adver- 
tisement of the "New York Cash Store," as follows : 

"Chas. C. Terry & Co., thankful for past favors, take this opportunity to 
inform their numerous friends and customers that they still continue at their 
well-known stand in the Town of New York on Puget Sound, where they keep 
constantly on hand and for sale at the lowest prices all kinds of merchandise 
usually required in a new country. N. B. — Vessels furnished with cargoes of 
piles, square timber, shingles, etc." 

Early in 1853, Low sold his interest at AIki Point to Charles C. Terry and 
moved to the neighborhood of Olympia. As Terry's brother Lee had previously 
returned to his old home in New York, he became the sole owner of the point. 
April II. 1853, Terry advertised that the copartnership with Low had been 
dissolved by mutual consent and that the business of the firm would thereafter 
be conducted under the name of C. C. Terry. It was about this time that the 
name of the settlement was changed from New York to Alki, and the following 
announcement appeared in the Columbian : 

"Our enterprising friend, C. C. Terry, has made an excellent change of name 
for his flourishing town at the entrance of Duwamish Bay, hitherto called New 
York. It is henceforth to be known by the name of 'Alki.' We never fancied 
the name of New York on account of its inappropriateness ; but Alki we sub- 
scribe to instanter. It is a pretty word, convenient, not borrowed or stolen from 
any other town or city, and is in its meaning expressive even unto prophecy. 
The interpretation of the word Alki being 'by-and-by,' "in a little while,' or "here- 
after.' we must approve its application to a growing and hopeful place. Well 
done, friend Terry, success to thee and thy Alki. We are informed that a steam 
sawmill and several business houses are being erected at Alki. An extensive 
square timber and pile business is done there, and good assortments of merchan- 
dise are kept by the merchants. The brig Leoncsa, Captain Howard, is now 
fully due at the port of Alki with merchandise for C. C. Terry and Lambert & 
Smith." In April, 1853, C. C. Terry advertised that he had just received a 
large and s])lendid assortment of goods of all kinds from San Francisco by the 
ship Sarah I'arker and the brig Leoncsa. He ofl'ered for sale 15,000 ])ounds of 
barley seed, and stated that lu- wonlcf receive timber and ])ilcs in exchange for 
his goods. 

.Additional mills soon began o])erations and the lumber trade increased stead- 
ily. In the winter of 1853-54, J. J. Felt arrived and built a mill at Appletree 
Cove, which early in 1S54 was moved to Port Madison. It was owned later 
by (Jeorge A. Meigs. In the spring of 1853 Capt. William Renton went to 
Alki and he and Terry erected a sawmill there, but it was soon found tiiat strong 
northerly winds and a lack of abundance of fresh water made the ])lace unsuitable, 
so the mill was moved to Port Orchard. The same year Talbot & Company 
built a mill at Port Gamble. 'J'he Port Ludlow mill and the one at Utsalady were 
also started in 1853. 

The brig Kingsbury, Captain Cook, sailed for San I'-rancisco in .\i)ril with 
250 piles, 20,000 feet of sawed lumber and 30 cords of wood on board. A 
little later the bark Sarah Warren. Cai>tain Gove, took away a large cargo of 
piles, square timbers, shingles and cordwood. The brig Cyclops, Captain Per- 


kins, sailed for San Francisco with 190,000 feet of sawed lumber, 14 cords of 
wood and 2 tons of coal. The Leonesa sailed with a cargo 8,000 lineal feet of 
piling and 4,000 lineal feet of squared timber and 20 cords of wood, all shipped 
by Terry. 

Soon afterward he shipped by the Sarah Parker 10,000 feet of squared 
timber, 15,000 feet of piling and 100 cords of wood. The ship Mason brought 
him a large shipment of merchandise and provisions. In December, 1853, the 
brig John Davis sailed from Alki with a cargoi of piles and timber, and about 
the same time the ship Brontes, similarly loaded, sailed from Seattle for the 
same destination. 

The farms on the banks of the Duwamish River showed prospects of great 
development and furnished the people of Seattle and the lower sound with 
their products. 

In 1853 'h^ crop raised by L. M. Collins was valued at $5,000. The enormous 
size of the products of his farm excited surprise even here. He raised turnips 
weighing from twenty-three to thirty-five pounds each, potatoes weighing as 
much as four pounds each, and onions two pounds each. Already he was adver- 
tising 200,000 apple, peach, plum, cherry and other trees for sale at the low 
rate of $12.50 per hundred. 

Rev. David E. Blaine and wife sailed from New York for Puget Sound 
October 5, 1853, by way of the Isthmus and San Francisco and reached Olympia 
November 20th. This was making good time for that period. They came down 
to Alki November 26th. The little hamlet then contained eight houses and a 
sawmill. The clergyman and his wife were entertained by Mr. Samuel Russell 
and wife, who were the only white family there at the time. The other houses 
were used as stores and homes for the bachelor residents. 

Samuel Russell and wife not long afterward moved to their donation claim in 
the White River Valley and lived and died there. Their sons and daughters 
were active and prominent in the social and business life of this community for 
nearly a half century. The sons were Thomas, Robert and Alonzo. The elder 
daughter married John Thomas. They spent all their years afterward on their 
donation claim not far from where Kent now stands. Mary Russell married 
Charles C. Terry and wa*s the mother of Ed and Charles Terry and Mesdamcs 
Scurry, Kittenger and Lewis. The youngest daughter, Emeline, married James 
J. Crow and the City of Kent was founded on their land claim. 

Of his first ministrations in this new field of labor Mr. Blaine wrote a few 
days later as follows : "I preached in the afternoon and evening. In the evening 
after the sermon a young man (Charles C. Terry) took his hat of his own accord 
and passed around among the auditors, of whom I should think there were about 
thirty. When we counted the collection it amounted to $12.50. 

"It rained hard most of the way from Alki to this place. We came to Mr. 
Denny's, a member of the M. E. Church, and were kindly received. Here we 
are yet. His home contains two rooms. I had purchased a stove in Olympia 
for $25, such as would cost me in Seneca Falls six or seven dollars, and we 
put this stove up in Brother Denny's room till we could make other and better 
arrangements. Last Sabbath I preached two sermons and organized a church 
of four members of whom Catharine (his wife) was one." 


No clearer presentations of conditions here in those early clays could be 
given than in the foregoing paragraph. 

Mr. Blaine's first letter from Seattle was dated December 6, 1853, and gave 
an account of the voyage from San Francisco to the Sound. It had consumed 
only twelve days but at one time considerable uneasiness was occasioned because 
of faulty reckoning and consequent narrow escape from being driven on the 
rocks south of Cape Flattery. The letter gave a description of the Sound from 
the cape to Olympia and many details of their first experiences at Olympia, Steila- 
coom, Alki and Seattle. Several paragraphs will be of more than ordinary inter- 
est to the reader of today. He wrote : 

"I suppose Catherine will take the school here for the ne.xt three months, at 
about sixty-five dollars per month. A subscription was started yesterday. One 
man who has only two children to send has signed $100. We have a few gener- 
ous hearted men here. I am oftered a lot anywhere in town to build our house 
upon, without charge. I have not yet selected it. One man here has donated 
thirty acres of land for a seminary just outside of the village survey. Another 
is to give me a lot for a church and parsonage. Our village contains about thirty 
houses and I think twenty-six of these have been put up during the last six 
months, but as yet it is mostly in the woods. There are emigrants coining in, 
every now and then and augmenting our numbers. 

"Ihc i)eople seem disposed to take very good care of us and give us enough 
to do. llrother Denny offers me a lot for a first best garden, where it will not 
re((uire much labor to clear it. We shall not need lO' secure a claim. Village 
lots will be more valuable and these we can have given to us for the asking or 
on condition that we will make some improvements on them. The prices of lots 
vary from twenty-fi\ c to one hundred dollars. As for fruit, we can very well live 
without it as the superabundance of berries here will serve as a substitute. These 
aliound during nine or ten months in the twelve. We have strawberries, rasp- 
berries, dewberries, salal berries, .salmon berries, cranberries, whortleberries and 
wild grajjes of a superior kind. These ripen successively and are picked by the 
Indians and brought in by the barrel. Cranberries and whortleberries are still 
hanging on the bushes in abundance. They are larger and more solid than our 
berries at home in the states. 

"There is an abundance of game in the woods, consisting of dcor, wild cattle 
(these belong to the Hudson's Bay Company but have run wild), bears, wolves, 
panthers, squirrels, skunks and rats. Pheasants, grouse, gulls and ducks and 
crows are as tame here as the hens at home. They are very numerous. There 
are also a great njany eagles, ravens and cranes. Our Sound, or inland sea, 
besides its many other excellent qualities, abounds in fish of almost every variety. 
Salmon are very abundant, cod fish, herring, sardines, oysters and clams. Whales 
come spouting along now and then. Haliliut are caught at certain seasons of 
the year. The Indians do most of the fi.shing. The oysters here are of an 
inferior quality and small size." 

Under dale of January 11, 1S54, he writes: 'T have just seen Governor 
Stevens. He came to Seattle last night; is expecting to go up our river tomor- 
row to visit our coal mines and make arrangements for the exploration of our 
country back to the pass in the Cascade range, with a view to a.scertaining the 
most feasible situation for the terminus of the Pacific railroad. Manv in this 


territory are very sanguine in the opinion that this terminus will be at some 
point on Puget Sound. This place, in view of the natural and easy route hither 
and of our excellent and commodious harbor, said to be the best on the Sound, 
will probably be the place." 

January 17th Mrs. Blaine adds a postscript: "Our governor is now arrived, 
and we are to have a Territorial Legislature. The members are to be elected next 
month. The governor's home is at Olympia at present. He was down last 
Friday with Governor Lancaster, the nominee for congressman. They both 
addressed the people here. I did not hear them, being occupied in my school. 
They gave very good satisfaction. I did not see the governor, but the judge 
called on us twice. He appears well, has the reputation of being a fine man. a 
Christian. The governor is as rough in his appearance as any of our backs- 
woodsmen. They say he wears his red flannel shirt, no white one, coarse clothes 
and unshaven beard. You probably know he came the overland route with a 
company to see what were the facts in regard to the practicability of a northern 
road, where would be the best passes, etc. He unhesitatingly declares the advan- 
tages of the northern route, and thinks, as we all here know, that if such a road 
is ever built, its western terminus will be somewhere on the Sound. He is a skill- 
ful, practical engineer, having served in that capacity in the Mexican war, and 
well qualified to judge in such matters. He pronounces himself pleased with 
the country, considers its resources abundant, and says he is astonished at the 
degree of intelligence he finds wherever he goes. He has quite encouraged the 
people, given them new life and vigor." 

March 7, 1854, Mrs. Blaine writes: "We are now laboring under some excite- 
ment in consequence of some circumstances which have recently occurred. Just 
before we arrived here, the whites had hung an Indian that had killed some 
Indians and threatened to kill the whites. The Indians made no resistance and 
were apparently indifferent. Since that time there have been some white men 
missing and the Indians say they have killed them in revenge. One day last 
week a man started from Alki to go down the Sound in a canoe with three Indians. 
The Indians returned with his canoe, clothing, watch, money, etc., and were quite 
badly wounded so that one of them died. Suspicions were raised that all was 
not right, and last Saturday three white men, and three Indians of another tribe, 
went to make inquiries. The Indians who were suspected of murder had left 
Alki and were found among their own tribe. The whites demanded them and 
they were given up without hesitation. They put them in a canoe, but it was 
aground which caused some delay in getting away, during which time the Indians 
from the land rushed upon the men with drawn knives, and one man fired upon 
them. This commenced hostilities and the whites killed from five to ten ( they 
do not know the exact number) of the Indians. During the fracas one of the 
Indians they had arrested managed to escape. The other behaved so badly they 
shot him. The whites were all wounded, one of them mortally. He died last 
night. 'Sir. B. preached his funeral sermon this afternoon. Another was wounded 
in the thigh, a bullet going through it. The other received a bullet in his cheek, 
which flattened against his teeth and he spit it out. One of the Indians they 
took with them was wounded so they think he cannot live. Their return to this 
place yesterday excited the people very much. A company immediately volun- 
teered to go this morning and attack them, but upon more mature thought they 


decided to refer the case to the governor for his action upon it. The citizens 
convened last night, drew up a set of resoUitions. informing him of affairs and 
rc(|uesting him to take immediate action. They sent it off in a sloop to Olympia, 
but unless the winds should be very fair, we cannot hope for aid from him before 
.'Saturday. Meantime we feel considerably alarmed for ourselves. The Indians 
are ail well armed with guns, knives and more ammunition than the whites. They 
are \ery much alarmed, but if they knew their strength they might dispatch every 
white person on the Sound. There have been a great many of them about here 
this winter. At one time it was said there were 500 in this town and vicinity. 
They have left so that now we have no more than one hundred or two hundred, 
riicre are two things in our favor, the Indians are very cowardly, and the dif- 
ferent tribes are at enmity with each other. Should their mutual fear of and 
hatred to the "Bostons" impel them to unite against us, the terrible scenes enacted 
in the settlement of the Atlantic states, the accounts of which used to chill my 
blood with horror, may be re-enacted here." 

.\n engineer named William Young, employed in Renton & Terry's mill at 
Alki, had gone down the Sound in search of a claim and was murdered by the 
Indians he had employed to accompany him. The murderers fled to Whidby 
Island. Sheriff Thomas Russell organized a posse, consisting of Doctor Cherry 
and Mr. Tyson and three Indians of another tribe. One of the Indians of the 
sheriff's party died from the effect of his wounds soon afterward. The excitement 
and alarms incident to the murder and the bloody affray between the Indians and 
the officers of the law soon subsided and no further ill results followed in their 

August 4, 1854, Mr. Blaine wrote a long letter to his mother on a great many 
topics, some connected with the old home and more with the affairs of the little 
village in which he and his wife had established a new home. The following is the 
writer's views regarding the local Indian as he then existed. The present day 
writers of Indian romances will hardly recognize the picture : 

"You tell Kate she must love the coarse, filthy and debased natives in order to 
do them good. \Ve can imagine, in some degree, your feelings on this subject, 
and you will need the help of imagination to appreciate our situation and rela- 
tion to these pitiable objects of neglect and degradation. Once we could have 
hoped to do them good, but alas, they are most undoubtedly beyond our reach. 
They are but a remove above the digger Indians in California in intellect or 
humanity. Those who cannot talk the jargon or Chinook are beyond our reach 
iiecause we cannot converse with them except through an interpreter. They 
have already learned enough of religion through the Catholics to make the sign 
of the cross and say (ikt papa ikt sockala Tiee) one pope and one God. Their 
ideas of a future state are very indefinite. They are taught that there is a lower 
region and an upper one and that the good and bad will be separated in the 
future state, but moral feelings seem to be blunted or quite blotted out, and they 
lie. gamble, steal, get drunk and all the other bad things almost as a matter of 
duty because it is so deeply innate and so fully acquired by habit. Those who 
can speak the Chinook are ajipareiUly more iiUelligent because from Ihcir inter- 
course wilii the whites they have acquired some cunning and artifice, IkU they are 
even lower in immorality than their less informed ciders who speak not the 
jargon. They have also associated with the worst of white men and their example 


and influence have been most pernicious. Seeing the whites paying no regard to 
rehgious obligations nor even to moral principle they could scarcely do likewise. 
A prominent trait of Indian character east of the Rocky Mountains, we were 
taught, was gratitude, but these possess not a vestige of this noble feeling. You 
inay feed them all they can eat and give them all they can put on today, and 
tomorrow they will come back and ask for more and not be satisfied unless you 
give them a more munificent present which they would take without the least 
show of thanks. And should you wish to get the use of their canoe, even for a 
few minutes, they would want pay for it. The principle which actuates almost all 
here is, 'Get all you can and keep all you get,' no matter how you get it. This 
is fairly illustrated by a case that occurred a day or two since. An Indian 
wore a very nice pair of pants when he came to call upon us, and when Kate, 
who was in the house alone, asked him if he got them by working in the saw- 
mill, he replied ('wake, nika iscum momook tolo') meaning. 'No, I got them by 
gambling' when she said 'I\Iomook tolo bias mussachee' (gambling is very 
wicked) he replied 'wake mussachee — wake mussachee, iscum hiyou doUa' ('No 
bad, no wicked, gets plenty dollars'). This is the principle. Nothing is wicked 
which gets plenty of dollars. The first article is the creed of nearly all." 

Mrs. Blaine added a postscript : 

"Would you like to visit us? I do not know how long you would be con- 
tented here but I think for a time the novelty of everything would make you 
forget to be discontented. What would you think to go through a town which 
has but one street built on, and that but thinly, with nothing to mark the dif- 
ferent lots, the sides and middle of the street all alike, stumpy, with miserable 
Indian shanties scattered all about and Indians meeting you at every step? We 
have now become so accustomed to these things they do not seem so strange to 
us, but I often think what would our folks say if they could see them. This warm 
weather they go almost naked, and it is no unusual sight to see quite a number 
of men around the tents entirely so. I can pass a long row of their tents on the 
beach within a few feet of the water and see children of all ages from a few 
months up to those twelve or fotirteen years old running around without an article 
of clothing, sometimes chasing each other in the water and sometimes rolling on 
the sharp stones on the beach. Their skins seem as tough as horse hide, and they 
know as little of shame as the beasts of the field. Besides seeing the sights, we 
could amuse you by taking you out to pick berries. We went yesterday and 
picked a fine lot of raspberries. We went over and under logs, through brush 
and tangled weeds, up hill and down, but we had a very pleasant time." 

At that time in Seattle trees had to be felled and stumps dug out to get sites 
for the little homes and the little gardens. Members of the cloth were too poor 
to hire this work done and all the other members of the community were engaged 
in the same tasks, so clerical ministrations were interspersed with long hours of 
severe manual labor. The following is illustrative of the pioneer experiences of 
all circuit preachers in those days. Writing of her husband she said: 

"He does indeed need some new clothes as you would think if you could see 
how he goes dressed. He dirties and wears out a great many clothes as he has 
such dirty hard work to do. I have made him a hickory shirt that he puts on 
over his clothes when he is doing the worst. I do not know as you sisters would 
own him for a brother if you should see him as he looks nowadays. His hands 

HISTORY ()!• Si:.\TTI.I-: 37 

are coarser and rougher than any farmer's I ever saw, and his clothes to match. 
1 go out in the garden after school and help him. Making gardens here is a dif- 
ferent tiling from what it is with you where the ground is all cleared off nicely. 
Here are stumps, roots, bushes and plenty of such things to be cleared away. 
We have had fires burning for two weeks in the yard to burn up the stuff." 

This yard and little garden was where the New York Block now stands. 
Probably few pioneers now living who often saw the residence of Dexter Horton 
when he lived on the east side of Second Avenue, just north of Cherry Street, 
knew that the Rev. David Blaine built tiiat house long prior to the Indian war and 
that Mr. Morton bought it from him. 

The early part of 1S54 Charles C. Terry was planning a trip to the Atlantic 
states. Collection of accounts due him, securing men to operate the sawmill at 
Alki and supplying it with sawlogs, and keeping his store running were a part 
of his activities. In February he advertised that he had just received by the 
Leoncsa a full and general assortment of provisions, groceries, drygoods, cloth- 
ing, liquors, stoves, etc., and being anxious to close out the present stock he would 
sell cheaper than could be purchased elsewhere on the Sound. 

However, a trip to the eastern states at that time was not a matter of a few 
days' travel and of slight consideration. It would probably consume five or six 
months, and the actual expenses for travel and subsistence amount to five or six 
hundred dollars. Mr. Terry appears to have sold out his store before starting 
cast, as George & Co., in July of that year, advertised that they had bought his 
stock of goods. 

Terry believed in the value of newspaper advertising, and during all the 
early years the Olympia newspapers seldom failed to have something in their 
columns about him and his different lines of business. 

A stroll through the Village of Seattle in the summer of 1855 would lead one 
around stumps and over broken gixjund. The most noticeable building on First 
Avenue South was the branch store of Bettman Bros., who had begun business 
here the year previous. They had a very presentable estaljlishiiicnl and kept on 
hand a full stock of goods. The Indian troubles impelled thcin to leave the city, 
and they disposed of their business to Charles C. Terry, who took possession 
after the war was over. They were engaged in the same business in Olympia, 
where the elder Bettman continued it during his lifetime, and it is still carried on 
by his son. 

On the northwest corner of First Avenue South and Washington Street 
was the store of Denny, Horton & Phillips. The latter had come to Seattle from 
Olympia where he had at first settled. 

Arthur A. Denny was among Seattle's first merchants. Commercial interests 
began at Seattle in the most natural manner, being but an outgrowth of the 
trading from the vessels that came to the harbor for piling and square timbers for 
the .San I'rancisco market. While thus taking on cargo the captain carried on 
trade with the settlers and Indians on board the vcsstl. It was found to be 
profitable to leave the remaining stock behind at the \ illage, to be sold off on 
commission. To Mr. Denny fell the lot of taking such goods and disposing of 
them. A store was built, one story high, 20x30 feet in size, on the northwest 
corner of First .\venuc South and Washington streets, where Dexter Horton I't 
Co.'s beautiful bank building afterward was erected, and in this unpretentious 


structure Mr. Denny sold all sorts of goods on commission. Trade increased 
rapidly, and he soon thereafter associated with himself, Dexter Horton and 
David Phillips. They carried provisions, hardware, clothes, cutlery and notions. 
It was not long before Mr. Denny and his partners were able to place themselves 
on an independent basis, the founder of the house visiting San Francisco to 
purchase his annual stock. When the Indian war broke out, Mr. Denny dis- 
posed of his interest in the business to enter the volunteer service. Horton and 
Phillips continued business at the old stand for a number of years, until the institu- 
tion of the bank by Horton and the death about the same time of Phillips. Atkins 
& Shoudy succeeded to the mercantile department, and they in turn sold out in 
1869 to Crawford & Harrington, afterwards transformed to Harrington & Smith. 
Mr. Smith died in San Francisco many years ago, and owing to complications the 
affairs of the partnership were wound up. Mr. Harrington is now living in 

The third and remaining store was that of Dr. Joseph Williamson, a widower, 
and a very successful merchant who continued in the same line of business until 
his death many years later. 

A schoolhouse was provided by William A. Strickler, a young man of fine 
attainments, and an engineer and surveyor by profession. He vacated a dwelling 
he had erected and it was turned into a schoolhouse. 

The hotel of the place was the Felker House, that stood away out on the 
point near the corner' of Jackson Street and Railroad Avenue. It was the best 
building in the place ; was a two-story, framed structure, finished with lath and 
plaster inside, the first hard-finished house in the village. 

Hillory P)Utler's house was on the corner of James Street and Second Avenue 
on the present site of the Butler Hotel. It was riddled with Indlets during the 
attack by the Indians January 26, 1856, but it stood, a well-known landmark, 
until 1888, when it was demolished to make room for a business block. 

Another house was occupied by Samuel Russell and family who had moved 
over from Alki and remained here for a time before moving onto their farm 
in the White River Valley. 

Boren's was a notable structure, two stories in height, on the corner of Sec- 
ond Avenue and Cherry Street. It was later known as the Bell house. 

Doctor Maynard's house was at the corner of First Avenue South and Main 
Street; Edward Hanford's and Mrs. Holgate's on Cherry Street; Arthur Denny's 
was out quite a way on First Avenue near Madison Street, and Yesler's was at 
the corner of James Street and First Avenue. 

Bell's was at that time far ottt to the north near Battery Street. It was 
burned by the Indians the day of the battle. 

At a general election in King County in July, 1855, about one hundred and 
forty votes were cast. Arthur \. Denny, A. B. Webster and David Phillips were 
elected to the Legislature; Thomas Mercer, county commissioner; T. S. Bordwell, 
auditor; E. M. Smilhers, assessor; A. F. Bryant, surveyor. For prohibitory 
liquor law eighty-one, against forty-four. Sixty years later King County reversed 
this verdict. 

In October, 1855, jtist before the Indian war troubles broke out in King 
County, Luther M. Collins gathered a crop of 300 bushels of peaches. As this 





4iiAi'ij H^k 



was only four years after the orchard was planted this was a good demonstration 
of fertile soil and favorable climate. 

Under date of November 12, 1855, Col. M. T. Simmons, special Indian agent, 
published a notice directing all the friendly Indians within the limits of the 
Puget Sound District to rendezvous at North Bay, Nisqually, Steilacoom, Gig 
Harbor, \"ashon's Island, Seattle, Port Orchard, Penn's Cove and Oak Harbor. 
Sub districts were formed with Dr. J. B. Webber, Dr. D. S. Maynard, Capt. R. 
C. Fay and Dr. N. D. Hill in charge. 

The subject of one of the chapters of Grant's History of Seattle was "The 
Town and People," most of which is presented here. 

"By the summer of 1855, preceding the siege, the number of houses of all 
descriptions in Seattle had reached about forty or forty-five. They were clus- 
tered on both sides of First Avenue South for three blocks. There were no 
houses north of Madison Street and none east of Second, except a building or 
two between James and Columbia, and a house near Jackson Street and Fourth 
Avenue South. 

"The most important structure in the village was Yesler's sawmill. In more 
senses than one it was the life of the place. Here most of the men in town earned 
their money ; here the ships came for cargoes and discharged their groceries. 
Its puffing, buzzing, and blowing of steam made the music of the bay, and the 
hum of its saws was the undertone of every household. By its whistle all the 
clocks were regulated and the whole business of the village was carried on. It 
was not a large mill, having only some fifteen thousand capacity, but as the price 
of lumber was very high, the value of its output was not inconsiderable. The 
next house in interest was Yesler's log cook and mess-house. As the name implies, 
this was the eating house of the mill hands. But in addition to this use it was 
town hall, court room, meeting house and liotcl. All the legal business was 
transacted here and here nearly all social gatherings were held. It was the loung- 
ing place where the men collected and heard the news and told stories. A low, 
long, rambling afi'air without architectural pretentions, it possessed a certain 
homely attractiveness and was the last of the log buildings to be taken down. 
Soon after the mill began running the people built frame houses in a style that 
we should now call old fashioned, with clapboards and white paint, and one-story 
or story and a half in height. Such comparatively good houses, however, were 
quite few, the rest were shanties or cabins. The streets were unimproved, full 
of stumps and mud holes, and a single team did the carting. Bell's house, in 
what is now known as Belltown, was not in the town at all, and was burned by 
the Indians. Mercer's house was far in the country on Lake Union, and was 
the only dwelling out of town spared at the time of the attack. The forest 
closed down on the city and it was deep woods beyond Third Street. 

"Thomas Mercer was one of the most useful members of the little community. 
I'>y trade and education he was far from a pioneer, having worked until he was 
twenty-one in a woolen mill. He went, however, from his native Ohio to Illi- 
nois and learned some of the hooks and crooks of pioneer life on the prairie, 
finding that hands as soft as a girl's might soon be made strong and hard 
enough to swing the ax and maul, and guide the plough. 

"But the excessive cold of the i^rairics led him to look at length for a 
milder climate, and for a number of years he made a study of Oregon. He be- 


came so thoroughly conversant with the subject that he was frequently called upon 
by the neighbors to come and tell them about Oregon as if he had been there. 
Indeed, he fell to dreaming of being here and in one of his dreams appeared to 
be in a forest where there was a sidehill swamp with a lake beyond and bav 
upon which one might come to his home all the way in a boat — his home m 
Illinois being some eight miles above river navigation. The particulars of this 
dream correspond curiously well with the surroundings of his present home on 
Lake Union, and the dream is a sort of life touch showing the somewhat mys- 
tical element which entered into early life on our coast; although Mr. Mercer is 
not in the least a superstitious man. When he started from Illinois he planned 
to come to Puget Sound, thus being an exception to the rule, as most of the set- 
tlers were directed hither after reaching Oregon. On the way, just as he was 
nearing the end of the tedious journey, being at the Cascades, he met with the 
greatest bereavement that can befall a man. the loss by death of his wife. With 
his four little motherless girls he came on to the end of his journey. At Port- 
land he was invited by Lot Whitcomb and Thomas Carter to join a party to 
Gray's Harbor, but declined on the ground that he was too old, nearly forty, 
to wait for the development of that region. As for his children, there were 
kind people that offered to take them and bring them up, but his oldest daughter 
said she would keep house for him, she was thirteen, and they must all stay 
together. She kept her word nobly, denying herself that she might send her 
three little sisters off through the wood path to the log schoolhouse. It is a 
comfort to reflect that the endeavors of these brave children met before long 
the attainments of education and culture that they so much valued. For seven 
years Mr. Mercer had to be both father and mother to his girls. 

"Among the effects that he brought to the Sound was a wagon, alluded to 
heretofore, and a span of horses. One of these animals was an old mare useful 
chiefly in bucking straw from the thresher. He was about to sell this animal 
upon his departure for Illinois. A neighbor, however, advised him that she 
would be his best animal on the plains, and after due deliberation he decided to 
take her. He found that she proved equal to the occasion, and for eleven years 
served her master most faithfully. She was the pioneer horse of Seattle; Tib 
was her name, and her grave near the old Mercer homestead is still carefully 
marked. With his horses and wagon, the only team in town, Mr. Mercer had a 
monopoly of the express business, and recalls with great enjoyment the fact 
that he was the first of all the teamsters. The roads were far from good, but 
he boasts that he surmounted all the difficulties of driving about the stumps and 
backing his loads of lumber even into the houses to which they were destined. 
He also did much in the line of delivering wood on the wharf for the steamers, 
among which he remembers the historic Massachusetts. Sometimes he did the 
wood-chopping himself, but he usually found it more profitable to hire Indians. 
Among the Indians he was able to move with perfect security, even going out 
for loads of wood during the time of the siege. Of all the houses in the county 
left to the depredations of the savages his alone was left unburnt and unharmed. 
The Indians were afterward asked the reason of this and answered that they 
thought he might want to use it again. It was said to him by a neighbor that if 
he stayed on his place with his little girls the Indians would not have hurt a 
hair of his head. He was always exceedingly kind to them. 


"To him must be given the credit of naming the lakes. Up to 1854 they had 
gone without a name other than the Indian designation 'tenas chuck' and "hias 
chuck' (little water and big water), barren of even proper Indian names. .Ml 
agreed that distinctive names should be given tts the lakes, but for some reason 
it was not easy to tind satisfactory ones. A public meeting was called to settle 
the question, and Mercer's suggestion, that the larger one be named Washington 
for the father of his country, and the smaller Union, as sometime to become the 
connecting or uniting link between the larger lake and the Sound, met with 
hearty approval, and these names were adopted. Mr. Mercer lived a part of the 
time on his farm and a part of the time in the town until the city spread out 
to include the farm. He made a filing to include 320 acres, the west half extend- 
ing upon that sightly tract now known as Queen Anne Town, but another made 
a filing on this part on the ground that Mercer was a single man. Not wishing 
to carry the matter to court, Mr. Mercer confined himself to the portion fronting 
on Lake Union. [It was generally understood at the time that if a married coujjle 
had reached tlie territory and then one of them died the survi\t)r could file upon 
an additional claim for any minor children they might have. Mr. Mercer con- 
tinued to live on a part of his claim until his death in 1898. — Ed.] 

"One of the arrivals of 1852, who became eminent in the slate as well as in 
the city, was Dr. H. A. Smith, for whom Smith's Cove was named. He came 
to this country a man of culture and education having been born in Ohio in 1830 
and educated at Alleghany College, where he also studied medicine. Finishing 
his professional studies at Cincinnati, he was drawn into the migratory mo\e- 
ment to the West, aiming in the beginning to go to the gold region of California. 
While in the Nevada Mountains, however, he decided to accompany his com- 
rades to Oregon, in order to see the famous valleys of that state, particularly the 
Willamette, of which he heard more and more as he came westward. He intended 
to go on to the gold mines after visiting Oregon. On reaching Portland, then a 
lively town, however, he heard much of a Northern Pacific railroad to terminate 
on the Sound. Coming to Olympia and concluding that the road when built 
must cross the mountains through Snoqualmie Pass and that Seattle was the 
point nearest tide water, he decided to locate at this little place. There were a 
few cabins at that time, but they were so hidden by the immense timber that the 
shore ajjpcared practically a wilderness. Coming along in a canoe with Collins, 
he asked where the town was, for there was nothing visible from the shore except 
a small improvement of Doctor Maynard's. It was the intention to practice his 
profession, but the place afforded him altogether too little sickness, and he soon 
saw that to realize any profit from living here he must do as the rest were doing, 
and get a piece of land. He chose a place on the north end of the bay where he 
believed the railroad must first touch the water, and in the woods began pioneer 
life in earnest. He found this sort of existence tedious in the extreme without 
the means of gratifying his cultivated tastes, and being still young, he suflered 
greatly from homesickness. He stuck to his place, however, not losing faith in 
the railroad. In the course of time he interested himself in clearing up his land, 
making pasturage for his cows, setting out an orchard and exi)erimenting with 
his tide lands. Not giving up his practice altogether, he invented a way of com- 
bmmg both his vocations; he built an infirmary on his place to which he brought 
his patients, never refusing any in need of care. If, as was often the case, they 
had no money to pay, he had them settle by doing some clearing on his land. 


"In addition to his private enterprises, as the years passed by, he bore a full 
share of public burdens, becoming the first superintendent of public schools in 
tlie county, and serving three terms in the Lower House and two in the Upper 
House of the Territorial Legislature. He was president of the latter one term. 
His widely read contributions to the territorial press made him well known 
throughout the coast. He was pronounced by an eastern magazine as 'an able 
medical man and a poet of no ordinary talent, a rare scholar and a good writer.' 
[His death occurred in Seattle in 1915. — Ed.] 

"Jacob Maple was born on the Monogahela River, Pennsylvania, in 1793. 
His father removed to Jefferson County, Ohio, in 1800 and died in 1812. The 
family lived subsequently ii: Southern Iowa, whence they emigrated to Oregon by 
way of California. 

"To J. C. Holgate belongs the honor of having first visited Elliott Bay with a 
view of making a settlement. Holgate was from Iowa, and crossed the plains to 
Oregon in 1847, when a youth of but nineteen. He was a son of Abraham L. 
Holgate, a pioneer of Ohio and later of Iowa. In his childhood he was very 
delicate in healtli and being unable to take robust exercise, had for a large part 
of his amusement the overhauling and ransacking of his father's old books in 
the garret. A sister, four years older, made it a practice to read to him when 
he became old enough to wish to know what was in the books, and the works that 
most interested him were the record of General Pike's Expedition and the journals 
of a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The sister explained and 
enlarged upon these accounts, chiefly with a view to amuse him, and during his 
spells of ague she diverted him with stories of Oregon, a land of perpetual spring, 
without thunder, the dread of the nervous child, and of vistas of snow-capped 
mountains and the ocean. The boy fully made up his mind to come to this 
romantic country, and the summer that he was nineteen he joined the party of 
Seth Luelling of Salem, Iowa. Reaching Vancouver during the following autumn 
he found the young territory in excitement over the Cayuse outbreak, and joined 
the forces of Gilliam to punish the murderers of Whitman. During the war he 
took a brave part, on one occasion performing a deed of the utmost daring. The 
horses of the troop with which he was connected having been stolen, the detach- 
ment was left in the midst of the enemy without the means of reaching the main 
command. The animals were picketed by the Indians at a distance, but in 
view, with the evident intent of drawing the whites into ambush. The com- 
mander of the squad understood this and explained it to the men, but added that 
they must have horses or all would fall into the hands of the hostiles. He then 
asked if there was any one who would volunteer to go and cut the lariats and 
let the animals loose, as he thought they would run back to their camp. Holgate 
volunteered to do it. 'You can't spare a man, and I'm only a boy,' was what he 
said. It was felt to be sure death, but with a halfbreed boy who generously 
agreed to accompany him, he went down and released the beasts, and they at 
once came flying back. Strange to say he was not fired upon, the Indians after- 
wards saying, 'Oh, cultus.' They thought him too little to kill, for he was small 
and pale even for his years. 

"After the war, during the later days of which he was seriously sick with 
measles, he was told by an officer of the Hudson's Bay Company who had heard 


of his jjallantry and took an interest in him, that if it was the hcst country for 
health lie was after he should come to I'uget Sound. Just before going to the 
war he had decided to take a claim on Tualatin Plains, but upon learning of the 
Sound as a better place, he made a tour of ex])loration in August and September 
of 1850. He crossed from the Cowlitz to Tumwater on foot and at Simmons' 
was furnished a canoe and a crew of Indian paddlers. With this dusky company 
he set out on a six weeks' voyage of discovery, passing as far north as the 
Snohomish, and made particular examination of Elliott Bay. On the Duwamish 
he found the claim he wanted, and determined to take this in preference to that 
on Tualatin Plains. He was not satisfied to settle here alone, however, and 
planned to make a visit to Iowa and marry and return. But before this he 
wanted to try his luck in the mines, and in 185 1 went to Southern Oregon. 

"He was never weary of extolling the Sound country, and it was largely due 
to his representations that L. B. Hastings, a close friend of his, was induced to 
come and examine the region. While Holgate was at the mines the other 
Duw.imish settlers reached the bay and covered the claim he had in view. On 
returning from the mines he came north again, and although not finding his old 
place vacant, filed a claim south of Doctor Maynard's on the shore of the bay. 
The next above him was that of Edward Hanford. One of his letters dated 
December 23, 1847, ^t Tualatin Plains was preserved. It was written just before 
his Indian campaign but he does not say anything of his perilous venture, not 
wishing to burden his mother with anxiety. The following extract locates him 
and shows his relation to the events of the time : "The plain that I am in is as 
l)retty a section of country as I ever saw in Iowa. The land is as good for 
])roducing as is common in Iowa. Mr. George W. Ebbart has promised to take 
this to you for me. He can tell you more of the country and its prospects than I 
can at present. I intend making a claim in a few days which has about thirty 
acres of plain and the balance the best of timber, and if I get it well improved I 
ask no better fortune. I have but a few moments to write. I told Mr. Ebbart 
that you would treat him well for my sake as he has treated me with all the kind- 
ness of an open-hearted Kentuckian." 

'■.\nother letter dated May 12, 1851. indicates where he was during the first 
years of his residence on this coast :' "The first six months I spent in Oregon 
I was in what is known as middle Oregon, between the Cascade and Blue moun- 
tains, with a regiment of about five hundred men. The first of last August I left 
here and went to Pugct Sound to look at the country. I stayed there until the 
first of October. The Sound has four rivers emptying along its eastern shore. 
The valleys of these rivers will average about fifteen miles in width and arc about 
equally divided in prairie and timber. I spent about six weeks traveling over this 
Sound country.' [These letters fix be>x>nd doubt Holgate's exploration of the 
Sound. He was murdered in Nevada in 1868 during a controversy regarding a 
mining claim he had discovered and staked. — Ed.| 

"It was greatly against the will of his sister that Holgate came to the West, 
for he seemed to her but a puny child still, and .she felt guilty for filling his hea<l 
with adventurous notions. In much the same spirit, he, after coming and seeing 
the real hardships of the journey, would not advise her to think of coming. In 
the meantime she had married. Her husband's affairs were prospering. He had 
a magnificent tract of prairie and woodland, and large herds of cattle. This was 


Mr. Edward Hanford. In spite of Ilolgate's withholding encouragement, how- 
ever, TIanford took the Oregon fever and brought his family across the moun- 
tains and plains, and occupied the claim next above that of Holgate. With the 
large number of work cattle that he brought from Iowa, he supplied teams for 
doing a very profitable business in hauling out timbers. By the aid of his wife 
he was making a most comfortable home, with garden and orchard, until all was 
wantonly destroyed by the Indians at the time of the outbreak. After this dis- 
aster, he lived in the town until some years later. He then resided in San Fran- 
cisco for a number of years, but the evening of his life was spent at Seattle. 

"Mrs. Hanford, whose kindly story telling to amuse a sickly brother may be 
regarded as the beginning of the family history of her people on this coast, if 
not of the History of Seattle, was one of those typical pioneers whose culture and 
intelligence show from what substantial material the foundation timbers of 
Seattle were derived." [Her death occurred in Seattle many, many years 
ago. — Ed.] 

Lack of mails much of the time and irregularities all the time was one of the 
commonest sources of irritation to the settlers and the most serious privation they 
had to endure They had all of them recently left homes and friends and rela- 
tives in the eastern states and of course were anxious to hear from them. Often 
months intervened without a word from them. 

During 1852 and most of 1853 the only mails reaching Seattle came from 
Olympia by canoe express once a week. Robert W. Moxlie carried it most of the 
time. Postage was 25 cents a letter. The last express of this character arrived 
August 15, 1853, and brought twenty-two letters and fourteen papers. 

The 22d of the same month Arthur A. Denny was appointed postmaster and 
received the first United States mail ever opened in Seattle. It was opened in a 
log cabin on the present northeast corner of First Avenue and Marion Street, 
where in the early '80s George F. Frye erected an opera house that went by his 
name and was a quite pretentious structure for that period. It burned at the 
time of the great fire. Mr. Denny was relieved of his office October nth follow- 
ing his appointment and a W. J- Wright became his successor. A protest was 
forwarded and Mr. Denny was recommissioncd the following year in May but 
he declined the appointment. Giarles Plummer was then a])pointe(l and served 
for several years. 

The neglect of the postmaster general to provide the settlers of Washington 
Territory with suitable mail facilities w-as bitterly complained of year after year 
and made that official the subject of anima(l\ersions from press and people. 
Many of the organized counties of the territory had never been supplied with a 
mail at the expense of the General Government, although some of them were 
older than the territorial organization. The Congress of 1833-4 had established 
suitable mail routes but few of them were put in operation. 

In January, 1854, proposals for carrying the mails for four years were called 
for over the following routes : From Olympia to Seattle every Thursilay and 
return the next day; from Seattle to Olympia every Monday and return the next 
day. A bill in Congress in February. 1855, authorized a semi-monthly mail 
between San Francisco and Olymyjia with stoppage at all intermediate points, 
the cost not to exceed $120,000 a year. This bill became a law and proposals for 
carrying the mail were called for. The lowest bid for semi-monthly trips between 


Sail I'Vancisco and Olympia was $125,000 a year. Tlie next lowest was for 
monthly trips at $100,000 a year. Finally J. II. C. Mudd and Henry S. Magraw 
took tlie contract from Astoria to Olympia at $36,000 annually, monthly tri])s. 
P.efore this ]i!an was put in operation, it was concluded to run from Portland to 
Olympia, with four trips each way per month, but as this would require a suit- 
ahlc steamer and as there was no such steamer willing to undertake the service, 
the oft'ers of the (Government went begging. Thus tlie mail service on (he Sound 
was \ery irregular and unsatisfactory, and was carried by anybody or every- 
body. Altliough mail routes had in reality been established in 1853, there was 
no oflicial service till two years later. Postmasters had been appointed, but many 
were not jirovided with mail bags and keys. Hence in 1855 a weekly mail was 
demanded for alt the Sound towns. The steamer Major Tompkins carried it as 
an accommodation when conxenient, as did also the Water Lily, Capt. C. C. 
Terry. As it was, all the .Sound towns were compelled to wait often more than 
a month for mails. 

Of marriageable girls or women, in all the early years on Pugct Sound, the 
pro|)ortion to the number of eligible males willing to enter into the bonds of 
wedlock was, perhaps, one in twenty. A marriage ceremony was a notable event 
in any community, and its celebration attracted the neighbors from near and far. 
In those days neighbors might live five, ten or twenty miles apart. To each 
maiden was offered the selection of a mate from a numerous waiting list ; that 
this selection should have at all times been wisely made would not be prof- 
itable to discuss. However, of the contracting parties in Seattle, and nearby, men- 
tioned below, none afterward appeared in the divorce courts, therefore the con- 
clusion that they lived happily together ever afterward may be accepted as final. 

In the Town of Alki, I'ebruary 5, 1854, by Reverend Blaine, Mr. John M. 
Thomas, formerly of Indianapolis, Ind., was married to Miss Mary .'\., daugh- 
ter of Samuel Russell, formerly of Auburn. 111. The Columbian of those 
days seemed to feel that in most cases people then here had hardly established 
residences, and for information and identification gave the name of the eastern 
home from which they had recently moved to this new country. 

In Seattle, I-'ebruary 19, 1854, by Rev. David E. Blaine, Mr. G. Timothy Grow, 
of Duwamish River, was wedded to Miss Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Ben- 
net L. Johns, of Seattle. 

In Seattle, January i, 1855, by Rev. David E. Blaine, Mr. Charles Plummer 
and Miss Ellen Smith, both of Seattle. 

At the residence of Mr. J. H. Avery, Duwamish River, February 7, 1855, '^y 
C. C. Lewis, justice of the peace. Dr. Samuel L. Grow to Miss Eveline M. Avery, 
both of King County. 

Mr. Joseph Brannan. of King County and Miss Sarah V. Hcnness, of 
Thurston County, were united in marriage at the residence of the bride's parents, 
by Alex S. Yantis, justice of the peace, October i, 1857. 

Mr. David Livingston and Miss Mar)' Renton, both of Port Orchard, were 
married in Olympia liy Rev. Geo. F. \\'hitworth, August 17, 1857. 

At Seattle, August 28, 1859, by Dr. D. S. Maynard, justice of the peace, Mr. 
L. V. WyckofT and Mrs. Ursula McConaha, all of Seattle. 

Mr. S. B. Hinds, a member of the firm of Plummer & Hinds, was united in 


marriage to Miss Nellie M. Andrews, September 15, 1859, by Dr. D. S. Maynard, 
in Seattle. All were residents of the village. 

At Alki, July 4, i860, by Dr. D. S. Maynard, justice of the peace, Mr. 
Charles Plummer, the senior member of the firm above mentioned, and Mrs. 
Sarah J. Harris, late of Lowell, Mass. 

Near Steilacoom, Pierce County, September 5, i860, at the residence of Mr. 
and Mrs. Sherwood Bonney, the bride's parents, by Rev. George W. Sloan, 
Mr, Oliver C. Shorey and Miss Mary E. Bonney. Air. and Mrs. Shorey came to 
Seattle to live the following year and made it their permanent home. 

A double wedding was an unusual event in this community, so when Mr. 
Thomas S. Russell and his partner in business, Harry E. Hitchcock, took unto 
themselves wives every newspaper on the Sound chronicled the fact. Mr. Russell 
was married to Miss Susan E. Crow and Mr. Hitchcock to Miss ]\Iaria McMil- 
lan, by Thomas Mercer, judge of probate, in Seattle, October 2, i860. 

At Seattle, October 24, i860, by Rev. Daniel Bagley, Mr. George F. Frye to 
Miss Louisa C. Denny, eldest daughter of Air. Arthur A. Denny. 

In the fall of 1857 the editor of an Olympia paper was one of a party of 
gentlemen who made the tour of the Sound country, and on his return gave his 
readers an excellent account of his trip and of the conditions as he found them 
all over the Sound, including Victoria, San Juan, Bellingham Bay, Port Town- 
send and the several milling ports, of which Seattle was then one of the least 

His remarks concerning this place are quoted in full : 

"We here find four flourishing mercantile and lumbering establishments. The 
first one is that of H. L. Yesler, who has also a steam sawmill, running night 
and day, and manufacturing during the year a vast amount of lumber for foreign 
and domestic ports. He has employed daily, in the aggregate, throughout the 
year from twenty to twenty-five hands. The other business houses are those of 
Messrs. C. C. Terry, Doctor Williamson ( who lias a drug store connected with 
articles of general merchandise), Plummer & Chase, and Horton & Co. There 
are two taverns or boarding houses kept in the town, one by Mr. Simons, and the 
other by Mrs. Conklin. There are some five mechanic shops in the place, car- 
penters, joiners, etc. Franklin Matthias and Henry Adams, as carpenters, have 
contributed much towards the building up of the place, which now contains, in 
both additions, some fifty houses. A tannery is also in operation, carried on by 
M. D. Woodin, who has recently shipped to California, besides several hundred 
tanned 'buckskin,' a large quantity of boot, shoe and harness leather. 

"As we have often before observed, King County has suffered more severely 
in the late Indian war, than any other, bordering upon the Sound. At the date of 
the outbreak, L. M. Collins (who has been a settler for years, about three miles 
to the southward of Seattle on the Duwamish River) after the White River mas- 
sacre, was the last man to abandon his claim, and the first man to return to it 
after an apparent cessation of hostilities. Mr. Collins volunteered in defence 
of the county to which he belonged, and in behalf of the territory in general 
excursions, and the result is evidenced by several tufts of 'Siwash' hair, taken 
in defence of his person and property. Characters of this kind, although not 
properly appreciated by the generation in which they live, become 'Simon Kentons' 
and 'Daniel Boons,' in after historj-." 


The residence of Doctor Maynard, at Alki Point, was entirely destroyed by 
fire in February, 1858, with an estimated loss of $5,000. The doctor was absent 
at the time. 

Of much local interest was the call for bids from United State military 
officers, early in 1858, for the opening of a military road from Steilacoom to 
Bellingham Bay. Through the timber it was to be cut twenty-five feet in width 
and the trees level with the ground. Some grading was required. The width of 
the corduroying was fixed at twelve feet. It was stipulated that the part of the 
road between the Puyallup River and Seattle must be completed by October of 
tliat year. As a matter of fact it was not finished until just two years after 
iliat date. 

In November, 1856, Commander Swartwout, of the United States Steamer 
.Massachusetts, had a one-sided engagement with a large party of Northern 
Indians near Port Gamble. When the battle commenced the Indians had 117 
fighting men, as admitted by them later. 

The trouble began several days earlier when the Indians committed minor 
depredations at points along the upper Sound. Captain Swartwout was notified 
and imniedialely went in pursuit and on the 20th found them encamped in large 

An oftlcer and party of men with an interpreter was dispatched under orders 
to have a friendly talk with the natives and endea\'or to prevail upon them to 
leave for Victoria at once. Armed Indians came down to the beach, threatening 
to shoot anyone who might land and daring the party to come ashore and fight. 

The shii)'s ])arty, under command of Lieutenant Young, who had received 
orders not to land or come in collision with tlic Indians, finding attempts at 
conciliation of no avail, returned to the ship. A larger party, consisting of a 
launch and two cutters well armed, and forty-five men, was again dispatched 
with orders to tell the Indians how large a force there was on the ship and how 
impossible it would be for them to resist; also promising them immunity for 
past ofTenses if they would at once leave peaceably. 

This they refused contemptuously and continued to treat Lieutenant Young 
and party in most insulting and threatening manner. Again the jiarty was 

I'inding peace negotiations of no avail the captain proceeded to harsher 
measures. Next morning the ship was anchored in a good position about si.\ 
hundred yards from shore and the little Sound steamer Traveler and a launch, 
both with field pieces on board, were dispatched to take up a position from 
which a raking fire could be obtained, and then a third party was sent to again 
attempt to persuade the Indians to abandon attempts at resistance, and to warn 
them that this time they would be fired on if they continued to refuse. Instead of 
yielding, the Indians took up positions behind logs and trees with their guns 
pointed ready for use. A cannon ball was sent over their heads and in a moment 
a general fusillade began on both sides. A large party, covered by musketry 
and howitzers, landed in face of a heavy fire, having to wade breast deep, charged 
tiie Indians and drove them from their shelter into the woods. 

Their hut.s and canoes and other property were destroyed, to the value of 
several thousands of dollars. The Indians continued defiant, and desultory fir- 


ing was kept up during the day. The next m-orning- they had experienced a 
change of heart, sued for peace and surrendered unconditionally. 

It was ascertained that their loss was twenty-seven killed and twenty-one 
wounded. One white sailor was killed and another wounded. 

The whole party was received on board the ship and taken to Victoria and 
from there returned to their own home by the I'.ritish Columbia authorities. 

The lesson they received at that time taught them the futility of resistance 
to a ship-of-war or to an armed force of the Government, but it did not prevent 
clandestine visits from marauding parties. 

Maj. Granville O. Haller, while in command of the garrison at Fort Town- 
send, several times secured the services of the revenue cutter, Jefferson Davis, 
and drove these Northern Indians from the lower Sound. In October, 1837, a 
dozen canoe loads of them captured a canoe load of Puget Sound Indians and 
either murdered them or carried them off as slaves. 

At that time several families had left W'hidby Island in fear of these north- 
ern savages, who openly boasted they would have the heads of three Americans 
for each one of their people killed the previous winter by the Massachusetts. 

It was many years before individual white men and parties of Indians of 
the lower Sound were entirely freed from danger. More than once in the early 
'60s, the .writer saw the local Indians camped on the beach in the village hastily 
dumping their household effects into their canoes and paddling across the bay 
toward the mouth of the Duwamish River. The cause of the commotion was 
apparent. The enormous canoes, filled with powerful Indians, could be seen 
coming from around West Point. The largest of these war canoes would carry 
sixty men who could drive their craft, on occasion, ten miles an hour. The 
fright exhibited by local Indians was because of former experience with these 
fierce people from the north, for neither they nor their cabins were molested at 
the times mentioned by the writer. The present errands of the visitors from the 
far north were peaceful. They brought their accustomed articles of barter 
and for a time drove a brisk trade in the village. Some of them possessed con- 
siderable rude skill in fashioning rings, bracelets and other ornaments of silver 
and gold, and the village belles among the palefaces did not disdain to wear 
the trinkets fashioned for them by some stalwart savage who would not have 
hesitated to cut her throat had opportunity safely offered. 

Under the white man's law each individual is supposed to be punished only 
for an offense or crime of his own commission. With the Indian and his tribal 
laws and customs the family or the tribe may have to bear vicarious punishment 
and the individual offender entirely escape. This racial difference in thought and 
custom was the cause of a large part of the wrongs endured by w'hite settlers 
at the hands of their Indian neighbors in pioneer days. Brutal murders of 
Indians, committed by criminal white men or offenses against the persons or 
property of the natives by white brutes, imperiled, not so much their own lives, 
as those of innocent men, women and children near the scene of the crimes or 
perhaps a hundred miles away. 

If an Indian chief were killed by a white man the relatives of the Indian 
held it their duty to kill a white man of influence in his own community. If an 
Indian tyee were murdered a white tyee must also be killed to balance the 


Late in 1854 the son of a prominent chief of the Simpsian tribe was shot 
down in cold blood near Olympia by a white man. Tiie members of his tribe 
wrapijcd the body of their young chieftain in a blanket and sorrowfully paddled 
away into the far north, vowing to take vengeance at some future day. They 
were of a race well known to pursue with undying hatred oflfenses against mem- 
bers of their tribe unless adequate compensation were paid. 

During the summer of 1857 the milling and logging industry was fairly 
brisk and the Sound community peaceful, when, like a bolt of lightning out of 
a clear sky, came the shocking re])ort of Colonel Ebey's death. It was perhaps 
never fully settled whether his murder was in revenge for the murder above 
mentioned at Olympia, or for the killing of the Indian chief by the United States 
forces on the Massachusetts, but it was generally accepted that the tragedy was 
attributable to motives of revenge for one or the other. 

Col. Isaac N. Ebey was one of the most notable men of that period in Wash- 
ington Territory, as well as one of the first settlers in the lower Sound country. 
The earliest exploration of the Valley of Duwamish and White rivers and of 
Lake Washington was made by him in 1S50. He had served in the Oregon Legis- 
lature while Washington was yet included in Oregon. From the organization 
of the Customs Service on Puget Sound, he served in it in some capacity, and at 
the lime of his murder he was collector of the Puget Sound District. In him 
the Indians found the tyee on whose innocent head they might wreak their 
vengeance. August 11, 1S57, he crossed over from Point Townscnd to his farm 
on Whidby Island. Late in the evening he was called to the door and fell dead 
from a shot through the heart. As was the custom of the Northern Indians, his 
head was severed from the body and carried away as a trophy. The savages 
had satisfied their spirit of revenge and fled homeward. 

The British Columbia authorities interested themselves and secured the 
return of the murdered man's head, some six months later, and his grave was 
opened to receive it. 

Although the Indian war was ended on the Sound in 1856, and the volun- 
teers released from further service, it was not until the fall of 1S58 that the 
forces of the regular army succeeded in whipping the hostile tribes in Eastern 
Washington into submission. 

In April of that year Colonel Steptoe, with a force of 160 dragoons, attempted 
to march from Walla W'alla through the Palouse country into the Spokane and 
Coeur d'Alene region, and grit most thoroughly whipped by the hostile tril)es 
near Steptoe's Butte, north of the present City of Colfax. 

Gen. Newman S. Clarke had succeeded General Wool in command of the 
northern district, and, after a consultation with Cols. George Wright and C. J. 
Steptoe and subordinate officers, determined on an expedition that would not 
repeat the many blunders of previous ones made by officers and troops of the 
regular army who had become the objects of general derision among, not only 
the Indians by whom they had so often suffered defeat, but among the settlers, 
as well. 

Companies of artillery, infantry and dragoons were brought from Southern 
Oregon and from California to the number of 800 and were drilled thoroughly 
together. At this time these troops had been armed with long range rifles far 
superior to the weapons of the Indians, something unusual, by the way, in nearly 


all the battles in which United States troops have been engaged from that day to 
this, not excepting the Spanish war. 

The combined forces were under the command of Colonel Wright who, in 
August, marched his troops overland from Walla Walla through the Palouse 
country into the Spokane country, having to fight superior numbers of the 
Indians most of the way. His trained soldiers inflicted heavy losses upon the 
savages in every engagement and suffered none, themselves. In September the 
hostiles sued for peace on any terms, having been thoroughly whipped in every 

In compliance with Colonel ^^''right's demand they surrendered their horses 
and the animals were imiuediately shot excepting a few kept by the troops for 
their own use. This left the Spokanes practically dismounted. The colonel also 
demanded the surrender of a large number of Indians who had given unusual 
cause of offense, and some twenty-five or thirty of them were immediately hanged 
by his orders. 

He also received hostages to be held as a guaranty for future good conduct. 

The hostiles were thoroughly cowed into submission and agreed to remain at 
peace with the Nez Perces, who had always been friendly toward the whites 
and who had been threatened by the hostiles for not joining with them. The 
most important feature of the victories of Colonel Wright's command and the 
subsequent surrender of the Indians was the agreement of the latter that in 
future white men should not be molested while traveling through the Indian 
country, a stipulation that was rarely broken afterward. From that date the 
development of Eastern Washington began, though General Clarke ordered it 
closed to settlement. In 1859 Gen. \\'. S. Harney succeeded General Clarke in 
command of the district and at once rescinded the order. 

In this connection is given the estimate made by the eminent historian Frances 
Fuller Victor of death among settlers, emigrants, prospectors, trappers and 
transient white men at the hands of Indians in Oregon and Washington between 
1850 and 1862. It reached the appalling aggregate of more than two thousand. 
Few murders of whites or destruction of their property in Washington occurred 
after the expedition of Colonel Wright above noted. 

At the close of i860, more than four years after the volunteer forces on the 
Sound had been discharged and the Indian war here considered at an end, Seattle 
and King County had not regained their population nor recovered from their 
losses. Many farms, under cultivation in 1855, when Indian hostilities began, 
had not been reoccupied. Fences and buildings had been destroyed, stock killed 
or driven away, leaving most of the settlers in an impoverished condition. All 
but the most courageous or the most venturesome had left the country. The 
season for planting had pretty well passed when hostilities on the Sound had 
ceased and the volunteers been disbanded so they could return to their several 
pursuits in 1856. 

In 1857 the indomitable pluck of the pioneer was shown by the more resolute 
who carried their rifles with them to their fields and did their plowing and seed- 
ing under conditions familiar to their forbears a half century earlier in the then 
Great West. Each year their activities widened and extended until in i860 a 
considerable acreage was once more under cultivation. An Olympia paper 
records that in the fall of i860 Thomas M. Alvord had just harvested nearly one 



Ihousaiul Inislicls of wheat and that John Thomas had raised ninety bushels of 
oats to the acre, both in the Upper Wliiie River X'alicy near each other. 

I'or about ten years, beginning in 1855, the Pacific Northwest witnessed 
mining excitements over a wide area. Colville, Simili<imeen, Rock Creek, Eraser 
and Thompson's rivers, Cassiar, Stikine, Lillooet, Wenatchce, Florence, Boise, 
and scores of other locahties where the bars and banks of the streams yielded 
placer gold, were household words. 

The Indian war was precipitated in 1S55 by the appearance in many parts 
of Eastern Washington of ever increasing bands of independent prospectors 
coming there from Washington and Oregon and even from California. The 
Indians realized fully that these miners were but the forerunners of an army of 
other white men who would soon occupy all the best of the lands. All over that 
anintry north to the boundary line prosjK'ctors fell victims to the wrath of the 
Indians. The number was never fully known but its total ran into hundreds. 

During 1858-9 thousands went into British Columbia, to the total in one 
twelve-month of 100.000. At one time 10,000 were camped on the shores of 
Bellingham Bay en route to Eraser River, Thompson's River, and other gold 
j)roducing streams. 

Some of Seattle's scanty iropulation joined the rush with varying measure 
of success. However, not all of the refle.x tide returned whence it came. The 
Sound country held a lot of it and these men, hardy, brave, intelligent, enter- 
prising, made up for what had been lost during and after the Indian war. Seattle 
and the rest of Western Washington gained little in gold from tliose early min- 
ing ventures, but the men who elected to cast in their lot here at that time, with 
their descendants, have exerted forces for material good continuing to the pres- 
ent day. 

During the summer of i860 nearly all of the unmarried men in Seattle went 
to the mines. For a time Yesler's mill had to close down because all of its 
operatives joined the rush. Rock Creek, Wenatchee and other points in Eastern 
Washington were then the points of attraction. Charles Plummer, Louis V. 
Wyckoff, Thomas Russell, Charles C. Terry, S. B. Abbott, Henry H. Hyde, 
later all solid men of Seattle, either went to the mines in person or engaged in 
outfitting packtrains to take supplies from Seattle into the several mining camps. 
The trail through the Snoqualmie Pass was the recognized route of travel to 
and from Seattle. 



The "organic act" that separated Washington from Oregon Territory was 
approved by the President March 2, 1853, and ahnost immediately following 
the accession of Franklin Pierce to the presidency he nominated Isaac L. 
Stevens as governor of the territory, who was confirmed March 17th. This act 
made the governor commander-in-chief of the militia and superintendent of 
Indian affairs, and subsequent events proved the wisdom of the selection of the 
first executive. 

Gov. Isaac I. Stevens was one of the great men of his day, and when the 
early history of this commonwealth shall have been written this fact will be 
recognized by every reader thereof. 

Owing to his surveying and other duties it was not until November, 1853, that 
he reached Olynipia. On his arrival he found considerable complaint concern- 
ing the hostile attitude of the Indian tribes. One of his first acts was to famil- 
iarize himself with all phases of the Indian problem. He took a sail-boat down 
the Sound, visited the settlements, heard the complaints of both Indians and 
whites, and took a census of the Indians in the whole Sound region. In his 
message of February, 1854, he reminded the Legislature that the Indians owned 
their land until Congress should secure it by treaty, and called particular atten- 
tion to the encroachments of the whites on the rights of the natives and to their 
discontent resulting therefrom. He recommended that Congress be memorial- 
ized to extinguish the Indian title at once, and called attention to the necessity 
of a military system to protect the white settlers from the savages. The Legis- 
lature promptly prepared and passed the memorial and in due time Congress 
adopted the recommendation for the extinguishment of the Indian title, and em- 
powered Governor Stevens to make treaties with them to that effect. The only 
means of communication around the Sound then was by canoes or by harassing 
journeys over rough Indian trails. 

There were less than four thousand white settlers in all the vast region west 
of the Cascade Mountains — scattering settlements, reaching from Vancouver, 
Clarke County, along the lower Columbia, up the Cowlitz River, on the plains of 
the Chehalis Valley and from there to Steilacoom ; a few at Olympia, less at 
Seattle, and a handful at three or four places lower down the Sound. With 
these Governor Stevens began to organize a civil government. 

When the machinery had been set fairly to work he started out to take a 
census of the Indian tribes and familiarize himself with their habits and ascer- 
tain their general attitude toward the white settlers, and in later years he regarded 
his management of Indian affairs as one of the great works of his life. During 
four years he treated and dealt with over thirty thousand Indians, and by these 
treaties extinguished their title to a domain larger than New England. 

l-./'.i\.\ .\i i-.i-.Ki-.k 



He gained the confidence of large tribes, particularly the Nez Perces, and his 
tact and good judgment, coupled with firmness, did much to prevent earlier out- 
breaks at a time when there was no organized militia nor Govermiient troops 
to cope with the vastly superior forces that might have been luirk-d against 

In 1852 and 1853 'he immigrants crossing the plains were so numerous that 
they had experienced little trouble from the savages, but in 1854 and 1855 several 
trains were attacked and men, women and children massacred. 

Col. Granville O. Haller, who died in Seattle a few years ago, leaving a 
host of friends here and all over Puget Sound, was then in command of the 
regimental jxist at The Dalles, Ore. Late in 1854 he made an attempt to ])unish 
the murderers of the Ward train near the confluence of the lioise and Snake 
rivers. The season was far advanced and the Indians fled into the mountains, 
so Colonel Haller returned to The Dalles, but next summer he again led his 
forces across the Blue Mountains into the Boise Valley and pursued the savages 
until he secured the murderers and executed them. 

In the first days of settlement the Indians were generally friendly but after 
two or three years they began to commit murders and other savage crimes 
when they thought they could not be (letected, giving the settlers some uneasiness. 

In 1853 a white man named James M. McCormick, probably, was killed and 
buried near Seattle on the shore of Lake Union. This crime might have reniaiiud 
unknown, but some Indians, animated by jealousy, reported the murder. The 
bo<ly was disinterred, but the victim was a stranger whom no one could i>osi- 
tively identify. As a result of the investigation, four Indians were arrested 
and tried before a justice court held in the old Felker house. Klap-Ke- 
Cachi Jim gave positive evidence against two of them and involved the other 
two. A verdict of guilty was followed by the hanging of the first two from a 
tall stump on the site where later stood the New England Hotel. C. D. Boren, 
sheriff, had charge of the prisoners during the progress of this case. One of the 
two im|jlicated was a young Indian who was kept locked in Mr. i'>oren's house 
and was believed by many citizens to be as guilty as were the two who were 
executed. A band of citizens gathered to take the law into their own hands. 
When Sheriff P.oren was absent they took this Indian in custody, marched him 
to a convenient tree, placed a noose around his neck and were on the |.ciiiit uf 
"stringing him uj)" when they were prevented by the hurried return of Boren, 
wiio had been ajjprised of the lawless proceeding. Previous to this an Indian 
who had killed his squaw was hanged liy the whites without the formality of 
judge or jury. Three persons were indicted for this offense. (Jne of them 
stood trial for murder, but was acquitted, while the other two were discharged 
without trial. In a spirit of retaliation the friends of the Indian executed killed 
two white men. one named Rogers and the other named Phillijis. instances 
are here detailed as throwing some light upon the relations existing between the 
Sound settlers and their aboriginal neighlwrs at a period not long preceding the 
Indian U|)rising. 

In the sjjring of 1X54 many circumstances indicated the a])proach of serious 
trouble with the Indians of the Puget Sound region. Governor Stevens prepared 
and issued a voluminous paper of instructions setting forth the duties of both the 
whites and the Indians. In March, 1S54. Michael T. Simmons was appointed 


spCicial Indian agent of the Puget Sound district. He immediately prepared and 
circulated a document requesting the settlers to comply with certain instructions 
when dealing with the natives. 

The old Indian policy of the Government was to remove the natives westward 
as the settlements of the whites advanced in that direction, but in 1853 President 
Pierce inaugurated the new policy of placing them on reservations and of com- 
mencing soon to cut down their domain, in order to force them in the end to take 
up farming. It was not until December, 1854, nearly two full years after the 
territory was formed, that the first treaty with the Indians of Washington Terri- 
tory was concluded. 

Under this treaty the Indians were allowed the privilege of catching fish, pas- 
turing animals on unclaimed land, gathering roots and berries, and living in the 
vicinity of the settlements at the sufferance of the whites. Provision was made 
to supjjly the Indians with an agricultural and industrial school and with suitable 
teachers, a blacksmith, farmer, carpenter and physicians at the agency. Nearly 
every member of the several tribes was present. Six hundred and thirty-three 
actually ratified the treaty and their chiefs and delegates signed it. Great pains 
were taken to explain the provisions of the treaty, and the Indians then seemed 
entirely satisfied. It was arranged to treat with the remaining Indians on the 
Sound at a later date. 

On December 8, 1854, A. A. Denny introduced in the House a joint resolution 
requesting Congress to authorize the governor of the territory to accept the 
services of two companies of mounted volunteers to serve for twelve months in 
quelling Indian troubles, recovering stolen property and affording protection to 
immigrants from the South Pass in the Rocky Mountains westward to the Pacific 
on the immigrant route to the Territories of Oregon and Washington. The reso- 
lution was read and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs. 

On December 26, 1854, a treaty was made with the several Indian tribes at 
the head of the Sound whereby they relinquished their lands to the Government. 
Three small tracts were reserved for their use and occupation — an island oppo- 
site Skookum Bay; a tract of 1,280 acres on the Sound west of the meridian 
line, and 1,280 acres on the Puyallup River near its mouth. 

On January 22, 1855, Governor Stevens, C. H. Mason, territorial secretary, 
and Col. M. T. Simmons, Indian agent, concluded another treaty at Point Elliott 
near the mouth of the Snohomish River, about ten miles from Skagit Head on 
Possession Sound. Presents of blankets and clothing were made to the chief for 
distribution among those who were present, as well as for absent members of the 
tribes. At the conclusion of the treaty a salute of thirty-one guns was fired by 
the little steamer Major Tompkins. Speeches were made on this occasion by the 
four head chiefs, Seattle, Pat Kanim, Goliah and Chowethzoet, who expressed the 
satisfaction, good faith and friendship of the natives. The following tribes or 
bands were represented : Snohomish, Skokomish, Duwamish, Oueelewamish, 
Scawamish, Snoqualniie, Sakaquells, Scadgets, Squinamish, Keekeallis, Sdoqua- 
chams, Swinimish, Nooksacks and Lummy. 

Immediately following this treaty another was held at Point-no-Point, where 
more than one thousand Indians assembled. Several speeches were made by the 
head chiefs of the Chimicums, Skokomish and Clallam tribes. The speech of 
Lord Jim of the Clallam tribe touching their domestic and peculiar institutions 



Ml slavery, which tliuy liad been urged to abandon, was delivered in good style. 
He said their forefathers had held slaves through a long succession of ages; that 
ihey disliked to depart from the usages of their ancestors; that they regarded their 
slaves as property, as much of a chattel as their canoes, blankets or houses, and 
that they were the same to them as hy-u gold dollars. 

Other treaties were held and the Sound Indians put in an agreeable frame 
ot mind. Tlic principal object of the treaties w-as to prepare the country for the 
surveys tliat were to be made as soon as the Indian title had been extinguished 
and their reservations defined. 

The year 1855 was jjcrhaps the most memorable one in the Northwest. Gov- 
ernor Stevens was making treaties with the Indians in \\'ashinglon ; emigrants 
were crossing the plains ; a gold discovery near Fort Colvillc caused a great rush 
of miners from all over the Pacific Coast, and all these incidents served to con- 
vince the more restless spirits of the native tribes that if ever attempt was to be 
made to stay the increasing. tide of white migration then was the time to begin. 
.\mong these, Kamiahkan, of the Yakimas, was the master mind, and in the 
struggle that followed he proved himself a great war chief. 

A. J. Bolon, special agent of the Yakimas, in August, went entirely unattended 
to visit him, hoping to influence him to remain at peace, but was murdered by a 
nephew of the chief he was going to see. About the same time Henry Mattice, of 
Olympia, was killed by the Yakimas. Also a party of five men, residents of King 
County, named Jamieson, Charles Walker, L. O. Merilet, J. C. Avery and Eugene 
Barier, started from Seattle through the Snoqualmie Pass for the gold mines in 
ilie Colville country. After crossing the divide they found the camping grounds 
and other traces of two men, O. M. Eaton and Joseph Fanjoy, also of King 
County, who had preceded them a few days ; but these had disappeared, and later 
it was found that these two men had also been murdered. The five above named 
were met by Indians, who pretended to be friendly, and deceived the whites into 
believing they were on the wrong trail. Jamieson and Walker went ahead to be 
shown the route and were soon killed by their treacherous guides. The other 
three heard the shots and found out the fate of their companions in time to take 
to the brush, and by hiding in the daytime and traveling by night, most of the 
lime in the woods ofT the trail, escaped Ipack to Seattle in an almost famished 
condition. murders occurred in September, 1855. On the night of the 27111 the 
liouse of A. L. Porter, after whom Porter's Prairie, King County, was named, was 
attacked, but he had felt there was danger and had slept out in the woods some 
distance from his cabin of nights, so when the Indians came he fled down White 
River and warned the other settlers, who all came to Seattle. During the absence 
of Governor Stevens, Secretary Mason was acting governor, and when he heard 
of this e.xodus of white settlers he secured an escort of regular troops from Fort 
Steilacoom and went out into the White and Green River countries to talk with 
the Indians. They professed friendship for the whites and represented that there 
was no danger of an attack upon the latter, and that they were silly for leaving 
their homes. They succeeded in deceiving Mason and he came to Seattle, antl by 
his arguments persuaded some of the settlers to return to their farms. He also 
very nearly persuaded Captain Stcrrett that there was no use of his vessel being 
ke])t at Seattle ; that the people here were merely anxious to get the benefit of the 


trade of the ship. This the captain repeated very angrily to Arthur A. Denny. 
The latter said, "I have no power to prevent your leaving us, and if the people 
who have come here for safety return to their homes they will be murdered in a 
fortnight." After reflecting a short time the captain said: "How can I tell 
whom to believe; you seem to be so earnest I will stay and find taut for myself." 

Efforts failed to persuade those who went back to their homes not to do so. 
It has been remarkable in frontier life for nearly three centuries how reckless 
of the lives of themselves and their families the advance guards of civilization 
have ever been. It was known that the Indian tribes in Eastern Washington 
were in a state of war; that Bolon, Mattice, Fanjoy and others had been mur- 
dered there, and that the mountain passes were open so that at any time small 
or large bands could come across the mountains, even if there were no great 
danger from the Indians on this side, still these men took their families back to 
their death. 

The necessity for the organization of the militia was apparent to every 
observer early in 1855. The disturbances on Bellingham Bay in 1854, which 
resulted in robbery and murder by Indian bands, and ruthless atrocities in Oregon, 
where neither age nor sex was spared, were sufficient to cause the most earnest 
solicitude as to what the Indians of the Sound might do when warm weather 
should arrive. Early in the year there were rumors afloat that the northern 
Indians designed a repetition of their acts of rapine and murder of the year 
before; hence it was that Governor Stevens held treaties with the Sound Indians 
and the Legislature passed an act for the complete organization of the territo- 
rial militia. Under this act each legislative Council district was constituted a 
regimental district, and at the next annual election the voters were required to 
choose a colonel, lieutenant colonel and major, who were empowered to lay off 
each regimental district into company districts within three months, each dis- 
trict to contain as nearly as convenient 100 men capable of bearing arms and 
aged from fifteen to sixty years, and to organize full companies with suitable 
officers to be appointed by the regimental officers. It was also provided that 
volunteer companies could be formed in the regimental districts under the super- 
vision of the regimental officers. Messrs. Terry and Denny, in the Legislature 
from King County, had at first favored a bill asking the Government to send 
additional troops to the Sound region, to be in readiness for any possible out- 
breaks of the Indians ; but the large influx of settlers seemingly rendered such 
a step unnecessary, because the militia, if organized, could doubtless quell any 
disturbance that might arise. This was the feeling in the territory and in the 
Legislature when the militia bill was passed in 1854. All felt that precautionary 
steps should be taken to resist and break up any combination of Indians that might 
be formed and chastise them for any wrong doing. The military organization 
should be such that at any time, on short notice, a volunteer force could be 
dispatched against the Indians in sufficient number not only to quell them, but 
to teach them a lesson they would not soon forget. For this purpose cavalry, 
riflemen and artillery were demanded, cavalry for Indian field purposes, artillery' 
for defense of the harbors and riflemen in conjunction with both. 

In March, 1855, Governor Stevens gave notice that claims for damages done 
by Indians would have to be made under the regulations of the Indian Depart- 
ment. He announced that it must be shown that the property had been mali- 




liously destroyed, and thai the person to wlioni it Iteionyed was lawfully within 
ihe Indian coimtry; that application for remuneration shuuld be made within 
diree years after the commission of the injury; that all necessary proofs should 
accompany the application; that in case the Indian could make out a presumption 
of ownership the burden of proof should be on the white person; that after [jroof 
was complete demand should be made uj)on the Indians for redress if so ordered 
by the Indian Department ; that one year would be allowed the Indian in which 
to make restitution; that if the restitution was then lacking full report of the 
case should be made to the Indian Department, and that every white person 
making such complaint should make oath that he w'as not prompted by revenge 
nor private satisfaction. 

It became known in August and September, 1S55, that the liidian> east ol 
the Cascade Mountains wert making overtures to those of the Sound region to 
induce them to join in a concerted movement against the whites. The hostility 
of the eastern Indians was shown by their attacks on the miners who went there 
in search of gold. 

Kamiahkan, Qualchen, Pupumoxmox, Unihowlish, Owhi, Teias and others 
east of the mountains, and Leschi, Nelson, Kitsap, Tecumseh, Quiemuth and 
others on the Sound were the leading spirits. Chief Seattle and his band were 
not suspected because of their known friendship for the whiles, but there were 
others of the Sound region who could not thus be depended upon. 

There were some two hundred regulars at Steilacoom, and volunteers were 
called into the field and these were divided into small parties who scouted the 
country east of the Sound to the Cascade Mountains, and from the Snohomish 
to Chehalis rivers. Over sixty blockhouses and many stockades were constructed. 
Immediately after the \\'hite River massacre all the settlers from Seattle to Mon- 
licello had gone into these blockhouses or to the larger towns. 

On the morning of October 28th the Indians took advantage of the absence 
of the military from the immediate vicinity of the upper waters of the White 
and Green rivers, and by a sudden attack surprised and murdered nearly all of 
those who had returned to their farms a few miles above the present Town of 

A man named Cox and his wife and Joseph Lake were attacked, but escaped 
and gave the alarm as they fled down the river for Seattle. It was learned later 
that young Indians who had lived in the families of some of the murdered 
settlers and who had been uniformly well treated, and who had protested the 
utmost regard for their benefactors, had joined in the massacre. 

They kille<l William Drannan, wife and one child; George King, wife and one 
ihild; Harry II. Jones and wife, and Enos Cooper, who was working for Jones. 
I'^our young children were protected by the leaders of the Indians — all of them 
named King. Mr. Jones was the stepfather of three of them. These were sent 
away from the Jones' home by Nelson, the leading chief, and told by him to go 
to the r.rannan home as Cjuickly as possible. Not far from the house they found 
their mother lying on the ground mortally wounded, but still conscious. She 
also told them to hurry away and get to the Brannan place if possible. John, 
the elder, was only seven, his sister four and the baby brother two years old. 
Johnny took his sister by tha hand and she the little brother, and they started 
to do as they had been bid. but fortunatelv for them were met by Indian Tom, 


whom they knew and who took them to his cabin nearby, where he and his 
kloochman fed and cared for the bereaved httle ones as best they could until 
toward morning when the rising moon made it light enough to travel. The kind- 
hearted Indian then put them in his canoe and paddled down the river as rapidly 
as possible and delivered them in safety to Captain Sterrett on board the 
Decatur. Later the little ones were sent to relatives in the eastern states. 

In most accounts of the massacre, "Old Curley" is given the credit for saving 
these children. Doctor King gives "Tom" as the name he went by, while 
David T. Denny, in a note to the writer, said it was David. In his statements 
regarding early days Mr. Denny was careful and usually accurate and doubtless 
he gave the name correctly. 

The fourth child, George King, son of George King and wife, was taken 
captive by the Indians and kept by them until the following spring and then 
delivered to the military authorities at Steilacoom. The child could not be cared 
for properly at the fort and arrangements were made with Ezra Meeker and 
wife to keep him for a time. He was about five years old when taken by the 
natives and had nearly forgotten his mother tongue when brought in. He was 
also sent to his relatives in the eastern states. 

The best book that has appeared regarding early days in the Pacific North- 
west is "Pioneer Reminiscences," aside from its unkind and unjust attitude 
toward Governor Stevens. In this book Mr. Meeker publishes a letter from 
Dr. John, King, then living in Ohio, giving his recollections of the events con- 
nected with the tragedy and immediately following it. 

Mr. Meeker also relates the efforts of Hiton, the Indian who cared for little 
George King, to make him his heir. Through industry and frugality Hiton, in 
his old age, had accumulated considerable property, and apparently having no 
heirs of his own, sought the whereabouts of the little white child he had saved 
nearly a half century before. However, it was found that George King had long 
since died and Hiton's benevolent intentions were frustrated. 

By this lime the whole territory was aflame. Nearly every able-bodied man 
went into the volunteer service, and for the next six months the contemporary 
newspapers were full of Indian war news all over the Northwest. 

There were brave officers in command of the regular army forces, but Gen- 
eral Wool, who was in command of this department, prevented them from doing 
much to protect the settlers for weeks after the savages had begun their work 
of extermination. The reasons for this were various. Wool was jealous of the 
fame that Scott and Taylor had achieved in the Mexican war, and arrogated to 
himself honors justly their due. While in San Francisco he did this in Gov- 
ernor Stevens' presence one day, and the latter, who had served with distinction 
in that war, replied quite forcibly, and as he was the head of civil and military 
affairs in Washington Territory, Wool took an ignoble revenge by endeavoring 
to thwart the governor's movements to quell the Indian uprising. He misrep- 
resented the situation of affairs here to his superior officers, and affected to 
believe that no danger existed that required the dispatch of soldiers under his 
command into the Indian country. He also resented the independent spirit of 
the volunteer forces who refused to be mustered under his command, and he 
never lost an opportunity of making disparaging remarks about them or of 
denouncing as liars the citizens of the territory in a body. 

O ra 
2 H 


IJowc'vcT, the massacre of the While River settlers apparently convinced him 
iliat an Indian war really existed, and the troops at Forts Stcilacoom, Vancouver 
and The Dalles were sent into the field, and additional troops to the number of sent u]) from California. 

(lovernor Stevens being actively engaged in traveling over the countn,'. 
Acting Govemor Mason called out a regiment of volunteers, numbering S63 men 
all told, by proclamation dated October 14. 1855, and a second regiment called 
out by proclamation dated January 13, 1856, numbering 1,069 ™c" -i" ^o\d. 

The names of the company first organized in Seattle appear in the ofificial 
ri])orts of the war as follows: Captain, Edward I^^nde^; first lieutenant, Arthur 
A. Denny; second lieutenant, D. A. Neely; surgeon, Dr. 11. A. Smith; sergeants, 
John Ilenning, C. D. Boren, John Ross, Jacob Wibbens; corporals, James Fielden, 
Walter (Iraham, David Maurer, .\sa Fowler; privates, John Phillips, Eli B. 
.Maple, William Woodbridge, Solomon Brunn, Charles Miller, James Broad, 
I lenry Williams, B. W. Johns, John J. Moss, Ira B. Burlingame, James Mor- 
rison, John Ilaney, C. C. Thompson, A. Hargrave, Robert Hicks, Alonzo Russell, 
.Samuel Bichtelheimer, Joseph Lake, Peter Lauderville, David Stanley, Robert 
11. Beatty, Henry Van Asselt, B. L. Johns, William II. Gilliam, W. W. Ward. 
I-:. A. Clarke, William F. Johns, William IT. Brown, A. G. Terry, Lemuel J. 
Holgate, (ieorge Bowker, William P. Smith, Samuel A. Maple. 

Nearly all the male population capable of military service was engaged in 
some capacity. William H. W'allace, a prominent lawyer, elected to Congress 
in 1861, and Arthur A. Denny, elected in 1865; James Tilton, first surveyor 
general of the territory, adjutant general; C. C. Hewitt, appointed by Abraham 
Lincoln one of the district judges and who became chief justice; Edward 
Lander, then one of the associate judges, who became aide to the governor, with 
rank of lieutenant colonel; Dr. G. K. Willard, regimental surgeon; Col. B. F. 
Shaw, assigned to the command of volunteer forces in Walla Walla region ; 
William W. Miller, among the first customs olificers, quartermaster and commis- 
sary general; Col. I. N. Ebey, also in the customs service in early days. 

Later Wallace went to Idaho and held many positions of trust and honor 
tiiere; Arthur A. Denny appears all through the history of Seattle for more than 
forty years ; Tilton was for years the leader of the democratic party in Wash- 
ington, candidate for Congress and active in the afTairs of the commonwealth — 
his son Howard is a resident of Seattle; Hewitt's name is interwoven with the 
legal and judicial literature of the territory; of Lander the same can be said; he 
.dso was a one-time candidate for delegate in Congress, also one of the owners 
with Charles C. Terry of a considerable portion of the present heart of the city ; 
Willard, of Olympia and prominent there for many years, father of Dr. Rufus 
Willard, for years one of the leading physicians of Seattle and who has many 
descendants still living here; Shaw, of Vancouver, one of the best Indian fighters 
of the early period, who died only a few years ago, full of years and honor; 
Miller, one of the leading and most influential citizens of Olympia for a great 
many years, iiusband of Mrs. Mary M. Miller, of Seattle, and father of Winlock 
W. Miller, one of the present regents of the state university. Mrs. Miller is 
the daughter of Judge Obadiah B. McFadden, who was one of the first justices 
<'f the .'<u]irenic Court and delegate in Congress in 1872. Col. 1. \'. I''bcy met 


a tragic fate at his home on Whidby Island a few years later at the hands of 
Indians of the far north. 

In October Acting Governor Mason had called for four additional com- 
panies. One of these, composed of the citizens of the counties of King, Island, 
Jefferson, Clallam and Whatcom, was ordered to rendezvous at Seattle. Each 
volunteer was directed to furnish his own arms and each company was ordered 
to elect its own officers. These four companies were a reserve force and were 
ordered to take the field only in case of great necessity. All the members, after 
the organization was perfected, were allowed to resume their ordinary vtacations, 
but were ordered to be ready to assemble again at the command of their officers. 

The citizens of Seattle and the settlers who had come for protection organized 
a company and elected C. C. Hewitt captain. 

Early in November General Tilton dispatched the steamer Traveler to Seattle 
to convey Captain Hewitt's Company H to its assigned post at the junction of 
the White and Green rivers. He directed Captain Hewitt, if he could do so, 
before leaving for the junction, to aid Indian Agent ^laynard to remove the 
Indians from Seattle to the west side of the Sound and to employ force if neces- 
sary to exact obedience and to prevent any interference from white men. 

Doctor Maynard. Indian sub-agent, pursuant to orders from Michael Sim- 
mons, Indian agent, immediately commenced to remove 434 Indians under his 
charge to the west side of the Sound. In all nearly one thousand were under 
his jurisdiction, but the others were already on the west side. On November 
9th, with a suitable guard, he went up the Duwamish and Black rivers, thence 
along the east shore of Lake Washington, and notified all the Indians to come 
to Seattle to be conveyed across the Sound. He returned on the 13th with a 
few families of Duwamish. He soon had here about seventy-five members of 
the Suquamish and about one hundred and seventy-five of the Duwamish, but 
they appeared restless from some cause which he could not discover. Even 
Chiefs Seattle and Nowchise seemed much disturbed. Doctor Maynard then 
bought a sloop and hired another from L. M. Collins to follow the second day 
with all who could not leave with the first expedition. H. H. Tobin was 
appointed to take charge of the second squad. Doctor Maynard. ftirnished with 
no means, supplied everything necessary himself, and his wife was his only 
assistant with the first squad. On the 20th they left with the sloop loaded 
with Indians and with a small fleet of canoes loaded with mats for tents and 

February preceding, the Legislature had memorialized Congress to station a 
man-of-war in these waters. The necessity was urged upon that body for the 
protection of the settlements here not only from Indians of Washington, but from 
the far more savage and warlike tribes from the far north in British Columbia. 
It was represented that a vessel cruising in the waters of Fuca Straits, Canal de 
Haro and farther up the Sound would furnish adequate protection. The "North- 
ern Indians" had caused the death at intervals of many citizens on the lower 
Sound and were also greatly feared by the local tribes. 

The settlers felt fairly able to protect themselves against the thousands of 
Indians surrounding them, but not equal to the additional task of repelling the 
fierce warriors of the north, who came down in their great canoes, pounced upon 






outlying sctllcmciits and iiillagcd and murdered at will and then away home on 
the wiugs of the wind. 

December 3d Lieutenant Slaughter and sixty-five men camped on lirannan's 
Prairie near the present Town of Auburn and sent for Cai)tain Hewitt to come 
up there from Seattle for a conference. It was rainy and cold and a fire was 
built near the cabin where Slaughter and Hewitt were, the former sitting near the 
door. An Indian crejit up near enough to make a sure shot and Slaughter fell 
dead instantly. 

David T. Denny and a small party brought the body in a canoe to Seattle 
and from here it was sent to Steilacoom and there buried. At the time Slaughter 
was killed two corporals, Barry and Clarendon, were also killed and six privates 
wounded, one mortally. 

Immediately following these events the regular troops were withdrawn from 
the field and went into garrison at several points, and not long after the volun- 
ors, whose term of three months had expired, were mustered out. No great 
tear of the Indians on the Sound was felt, and as the winter snows were unusually 
heavy in the mountains it was not thought possible for the Klikitats and Yakimas 
to cross them. For a time there was a feeling of comparative safety except in 
-Seattle. Here friendly Indians kept the whites well informed, and early in 
lanuary, 1856, it was known that the leaders among the Indians were planning 
111 attack upon the village. 

The blockhouse, which had been bcgim some time earlier near the junction 
of Cherry Street and First Avenue, the present site of the Starr-Boyd Block, 
was soon completed. The timbers from which it was built had been previously 
cut for shipment to San Francisco, but were put to use here the moment that 
danger from hostile Indians threatened. All joined in the construction work, 
the logs being drawn up the hill by ox teams. The timbers were placed close 
together and over all was placed a substantial roof. At two corners w^re 
bastions of saw-ed lumber from the Yesler mill. In the building of this block- 
house the citizens received the generous and hearty co-operation of Captain Ster- 
rett, who sent to their assistance a company of marines, whose trained knowledge 
uf the kind of work required proved especially valuable. The captain of the 
1 'ecatur also supplied the blockhouse with two 9-pound cannon and furnished 
Captain Hewitt's company, which was partly organized, with eighteen stand of 
arms. Every precaution was now taken to insure the safety of the town. Guards, 
both citizens and marines, were stationed around the settlement and blockhouse 
every night, and parties of armed men, both volunteers and marines, were occa- 
sionally sent out into the surrounding country to ascertain, if possible, the presence 
1 hostile Indians. .Mthough no evidence could be gathered that gave any posi- 
tive assurance that an attack would be made upon the town, the operations of the 
Indians not many miles remote from Seattle caused the settlers to be apprehen- 
sive of danger and to be constantly on the alert. 

Captain Gansevoort assumed command of the Decatur December loth. 

The citizens of Seattle met at the house of II. L. Yesler on the evening of 
Xovembcr 13, 1S55, and appointed David Phillips chairman and E. H. Clark 
secretary. Capt. C. C. Hewitt stated that the object of the meeting was to 
express the feelings of the citizens concerning the retirement of Captain Sterrctt 
of the Decatur on the retired list of the navy. On motion of Mr. Yesler a com- 


niittee of four was appointed to draft resolutions to be submitted to a meeting 
to be assembled the following evening. The committee consisted of A. A. Dennv, 
C. C. Hewitt, W. A. Strickler and H. L. Yesler. One of the resolutions was as 
follows: "That Commander Isaac S. Sterrett, of the sloop-of-war Decatur. 
is deserving of the highest praise from the citizens of Seattle and vicinity for 
his timely aid in our present Indian troubles and for his continued vigilance in 
guarding the inhabitants of Puget Sound against the attacks of the savages." 
The other resolutions spoke highly of him as an officer and friend of the settlers 
and of his faithfulness in the line of duty. They ended with the request that 
the action for his retirement might be reconsidered. On motion of T. S. Russell 
the resolutions were unanimously adopted. 

When the sickening details tjf the White River massacre became known at 
Seattle, all doubt of the true attitude of the Indians was removed, and those who 
had up to this time ridiculed the idea that the town was in any danger from an 
attack by the Indians, now eagerly demanded that measures should be taken to 
properly protect the people. All now realized the true situation, and there was 
no delay in providing suitable means for defense. 

After Captain Sterrett had armed the citizens and aided them to complete 
tlie blockhouse, the Decatur left November 20th for Steilacoom, but upon his 
arrival at that port Captain Sterrett, learning that Company H had been ordered 
to proceed up White River, thus leaving Seattle without armed protection, dis- 
patched Lieut. A. T. Drake and eight marines to the town to guard the block- 
house and protect the women and children. On December 2d th6 Decatur 
returned and again anchored at Seattle, but the next day weighed anchor and 
sailed for Port Madison to protect the settlers from the northern Indians. Upon 
receiving news on the 5th of December of the killing of Lieutenant Slaughter 
and members of his command, Captain Sterrett returned with the Decatur tx3 
Seattle and conveyed the killed and wounded to Steilacoom. where the latter 
could receive better care. 

On the return of Company II from White River it was completely organized 
and armed. As a result of its services the company was enrolled for the field 
at the office of the adjutant general, and was ordered to establish a post at the 
forks of White and Green rivers and to place itself in communication with 
superior officers. Captain Sterrett, who was compelled to send nearly all his 
small arms to Olympia, purchased others with which to arm the citizens at 
Seattle, who were nearly destitute of this means of defense. He remained with 
the Decatur at Seattle, which was then the most exposed place on the Sound, 
knowing that the vessel alone could prevent any serious calamity to the town. 

On December 7, 1855, the Decatur struck an uncharted rock near Bain- 
bridge Island, was hauled up at high tide and was worked on until January 19th 
before the injury was repaired. It was then removed to its former anchorage 
and made ready to sweep the village in case of an attack. It will appear from this 
that the village had a narrow escape, for had the accident occurred a few days 
later it would have been almost defenseless. 

About the middle of January, 1856, Lieutenant Crosbie was ordered to proceed 
to Seattle and there to take the company commanded by Colonel Lander and 
examine the shores of Lake Duwamish (Washington), erect a blockhouse or 
blockhouses at accessible points, and join the naval forces for a combined mili- 

HISTORY ul' .^l-.Ai J IJ- 6:( 

lary movement from Seattle against the reported liostiies around or near that 
laUe. General Tilton told him that his mission would be accomplished if he 
tould induce the forces then occupying the town and harbor of Seattle to demon- 
strate their ability to advance, occupy and maintain a footing in the country 
lying eastward of Seattle. On examination of the situation at Seattle, Lieu- 
tenant Crosliie reported that the Decatur with forty nun on board at Seattle 
was invulnerable to attack, and that there would be available about one hurtdretl 
and fifty men to garrison Seattle and fit out a boat expedition to the lakes. He 
believed it advisable to let fifty men occupy Seattle and one hundred go with the 
boats, and to let Colonel Lander build his blockhouse on the shore of Lake Wash- 
ington and open the road to Seattle. If there were two companies of regulars at 
Seattle, nearly all would be available for blows upon the enemies iuiconjunclioii 
•.vith the forces operating from Muckleshoot. Colonel Lander's force could hold 
the blockhouse on the lake and keep 0])en the communication with Seattle. 

During the entire period of the Indian war there were, within the immediate 
vicinity of Seattle, many Indians whose friendship for their white neighbors was 
sincere and loyal. Especially was this true of old Seattle and his tribe, and of 
I'at Kanim and his tribe of Snoqualmies. The friendship of the latter chief was 
doubted by a few, but there was nothing in his conduct to warrant the belief that 
he was in any way treacherous. At one time, shortly after the White River 
massacre. Lieutenant Slaughter sent word to Governor Mason that I'at Kanim 
was following his party, evidently with hostile intentions. On receipt of this 
information Governor Mason sent an express to Captain Stcrrett instructing him 
to arrest two of Pat Kanim"s brothers, with all the members of his tribe who 
were then camping near Seattle, and to put tlRin in irons. Captain Sterrett, 
who had previously received information from A. A. Denny that Pat Kanim 
was well disposed toward the settlers, did not wish to take such an imix)rtaiit 
step without consulting Mr. Denny. He therefore informed the latter of the 
orders which he had received. Mr. Demiy, who had ])osilive knowledge that 
this chief and his tribe were not in the part of the country where IJeutenant 
Slaughter was operating, earnestly protested against carrying the instructions 
into execution, cJainn'ng that he knew Lieutenant Slaughter was mistaken, and 
that they had enemies enough to look after without attacking their friends. "1 
linally proposed," says Mr. Denny, 'if lie would not dislurl) iIk- Snoqualmies. 
I would be responsible for their good conduct, and would prove to him that 
Slaughter was wrong by going to Pat Kain'm's camp and bringing him in. Cap- 
tain Sterrett positiv.ely refused to allow me to leave town, but consented that I 
might send an exi)ress for Pat Kanim and stand responsible for him until his 
return, having a lime agreed upon within which he would be back. Very for- 
tunately for me, and probably for Pat Kanim, too, the latter was on hand within 
the time agreed upon. I le had his women and children with him, and also brought 
a cargo of mountain shee]i, venison, horns and hides, sjiecimens of which he 
presented to the captain, who exiiressed the greatest surprise and satisfaction 
with the conclusive proof 1 had thus furnished of the good faith and friendship 
of the SnTK|ualmies." From that time all doubt was removed of Pat Kanim's 
real attitude toward the whites, and soon after he was employed iiy liu' goveniur. 
at the head of a small party of his tribes to act as a scout, and did good service. 

The news of the coiUemplated attack on January 2f>. iR^fi. which was revelled 


by Indian Jim and liis squaw, was first communicated to Doctor Williamson and 
by him promptly to Mr. Yesler. The latter, in turn, quickly transferred the 
information to Captain Gansevoort, who immediately ordered his marines ashore 
with special instruction to I-ieutenant Morris to fire a shell into the hut, where 
it was presumed the Indians had congregated. Following his instructions the 
howitzer was loaded and fired. The aim was accurate. The shell struck the 
cabin, exploded and demolished it. The boom of the gun had hardly died away 
before it was followed by a terrific war whoop and a volley from the guns of 
the savages along their whole line. Then followed a general stampede of men, 
women and children for the blockhouses, and had it not been for the fact that 
the guns in the hands of the Indians had been generally emptied by the first 
volley, many of the inhabitants would have fallen on the way to a place of safety. 
I'^ortunately all escaped without injury. It was about breakfast time when the 
cannon shot rang out. Many amusing as well as terrifying incidents occurred 
in this hurried flight of the half-dressed and hungry population. All made for 
the blockhouse and a little later many were escorted by the troops to the two 
vessels in the harbor. After the battle the upper story of the blockhouse was 
partitioned into small rooms, where several families resided until all danger was 
past. In the fort, on the day of the battle, were the following: W. N. Bell 
and family, John Buckley and wife, D. A. Neely and family, Hillory Butler and 
wife, Mr. Holgate and family. Timothy Grow, Thomas Mercer and his four 
daughters, B. L. Johns and his children, Joseph Lake, Mr. Kirkland and his 
daughters, William Cox and family, and D. T. Denny and family. All the best 
accounts indicate that Indian "Jim" and the squaw saved the lives of many of 
the inhabitants ; it was their reports that caused the Decatur to commence the 
battle and thus prevent the rush of the hostiles on the cabins of the settlers, 
thereby giving the latter time to reach the blockhouse, and at the same time 
enabling the troops to return to their stations on the beach and streets. 

The smoke from the guns indicated that the front line held by the Indians 
at the beginning of the attack extended along where Third Street now is until 
Marion Street was passed, when it curved towards the bay. It was a segment 
of a circle and every part of the town was for a time within easy rifle range from 
this line. All the forenoon the roar of the Decatur's guns continued. The 
ground beyond Third Street was torn up by exploding shells. Huge logs and 
trees were splintered by solid shot, and every space covered by showers of grape 
and canister, but still the Indian warriors held their ground, firing from behind 
stumps, logs and trees, which were very thick along the upper edge of the town. 
"Above the other noise of the battle," says Bancroft, "the cries of the Indian 
wx)men could be heard urging their warriors to greater efforts, but although 
they continued to yell and fire with great persistence, the range was too long from 
the point to which the Decatur's guns soon drove them to permit of their doing 
any execution."' Captain Hewitt's volunteer company took an active part in the 
defense of the town and rendered efficient service throughout the day. About 
noon the Indians ceased firing for a short time while they feasted on the beef of 
the settlers which their women had killed and roasted. During this lull in the 
fight most of the women and children in the blockhouse were taken on board the 
Decatur and the bark Brontes, which was then lying in port. At the same time 
an effort was made to gather from the suddenly deserted houses provisions, guns 


and other valuables left in the hasty flight, befwre the Indians under the cover 
of night would have an opportunity to rob and burn them. The Indians, per- 
ceiving the men rushing into the houses for this purpose, immediately commenced 
tiring upon them. Some of the houses within range were pierced by as many as 
fifty bullets. All the afternoon a desultory firing continued from both sides. 
At times when a bombshell exploded in the midst of the Indians a hideous yell 
would be niisctl. but still the savages showed no sign of retreat. Toward evening 
scouts sent out by Captain Ganscvoort reported that the assailing Indians were 
placing inflammable material under and around the deserted houses, preparatory 
to a grand conflagration in the evening, which it was believed was to have been 
a signal for all the Indians on the beach and across the Sound to join in the 
attack. To prevent the carrying out of this plan Captain Ganscvoort resorted 
to a vigorous shelling of the town, which resulted in dispersing the incendiaries 
l)efore they had an opportunity to do much damage. At nightfall the firing on 
both sides gradually ceased and by lo o'clock it was discontinued altogether. 
When the morning of the 27th dawned the hostile force had disappeared, taking 
what cattle they could find and plundering every house within the line of their 
retreat. That the massacre of every inhabitant of Seattle would have followed 
this attack upon the city without the aid received from the Decatur is generally 
admitted. The shells from the howitzer caused the greatest consternation among 
the Indians. Such implements of destruction were before unknown to them. 
They could understand how the solid grape and canister could cut down trees 
anil tear up the solid earth, but the guns which fired balls that struck and laid 
iiuiet for a time and then, as they expressed it, "niox poohed," or shot off again 
with such destructive force, were a mystery and terror. 

The Indians did not return to renew the attack on Seattle as Lcschi had pie- 
ilicted, but for several months the citizens maintained a close watch upon their 
enemies who continued to prowl about in the immediate vicinity for some time 
thereafter. Captain Ganscvoort did not leave with the Decatur until all danger 
of another attack had passed, remaining in Seattle harbor until the beginning of 
the following summer. No further trouble, however, occurred, although the war 
in other parts of W'ashington and Oregon was not brought to a close until the 
fall of 1856. 

Two days after the battle W. N. Bell wrote lo his friend A. A. Denny at 
C'lympia as follows: 

"Seattle, Jan. j8, 1856. 

"Hon. A. .'\. Denny — Dear Sir: — Sebastopol is not taken yet. We had an 
engagement with the Indians last Saturday, January 26. It commenced at 8:30 
o'clock A. M., and continued until dark incessantly and resulted in the death 
(it two Rostons — Milton Ilolgatc and Qiristian White. Fortunately none were 
wounded. I have no idea how many Indians were killed, but there were a 
iniinl)cr. My house was burned on my claim during the action, but the out- 
houses are still slanrling, but your house in town was robbed of flour and ()erhaps 
other things on the night of the attack. The Indians, we suppose, are back 
near the lake where they must be from i\\i^ hundred to one thousand strong, 
and say they will give us two or three months siege. Our company is disbanded 
and another has been formed this morning for the protection of Seattle : and 
from the best infomiation I can obtain the majority of the Indians on the Sound 


will join them. Shirley is true grit. Please find out and inform me what course 
1 must pursue to obtain remuneration for the loss of my house. Only a part 
of my cattle came in last night. Should this state of things continue, there 
will not be six families left here in the spring. The Decatur is afloat and most 
of our women and children on board of her. Yours respectfully, 

"W. N, Bell." 

January 29, 1856, Governor Stevens wrote: "The people of the whole Sound 
region are living in blockhouses or in their immediate vicinity. A band of hostile 
Indians numbering according to various estimates from two hundred to five hun^ 
dred arc on White and Green rivers, determined to prosecute the war. They 
attacked Seattle on the 26th inst., keeping up the attack nearly all day, killing 
two persons and driving the families on ship-board. The town was defended by 
a vessel of war and over one hundred citizens. They have devastated the whole 
of King County, driving the whole population within the line of defenses of the 
Town of Seattle." 

While the people of Seattle were defending themselves against attack, Doctor 
JVEaynard and the Indians had nearly completed seven of the eight buildings 
contemplated on the reservation. Lumber was obtained at Meig's Mill and the 
Indians assisted in the work. Late in December, 1855, attempts to kill Doctor 
Maynard were made by hostile Indians, but through the exertions of Chief 
Seattle and others the few hostiles were driven from camp. .Ml at the reserva- 
tion was quiet until the evening of January 24th, when word came to Chief Seattle 
from Teatebash that a large band was on the point of attacking the Town of 
Seattle. The chief promptly imparted this information to Doctor Maynard 
and asked him to send word to the citizens of the town of their impending danger. 
But Doctor Maynard concluded to cross over himself. When Doctor Maynard 
and his companions returned to the reservation they found that the Indians he 
had left behind, anticipating trouble there in case the savages were successful 
at Seattle, had removed his wife to a place of concealment in the woods to the 
rear of the camp. On the morning of the 26th the cannonading at Seattle could 
be plainly heard and all knew that the attack was in progress. After the repulse 
all at the reservation became and continued calm. On April i, 1856, Doctor 
Maynard resigned his position, mainly on account of his wife's health. She had 
faithfully assisted her husband in all the arduous duties and received the gen- 
erous thanks of the Indian superintendent for the exertions she had made. All 
the responsibility and nearly all the expense were borne by Doctor Maynard who 
in the end was reimbursed for his many outlays. 

In a letter dated November i, 1856, Governor Stevens said: "The report of 
the late local agent, D. S. Maynard, gives a graphic view of a removal of Indians 
from the eastern to the western shore of the Sound, and of the influence of the 
exertions of a noble-minded lady to allay discontent in the minds of the Indians. 
I take this occasion to express my sense of the courage and devotion of Mrs. 
Maynard, and to acknowledge her services in soothing the troubles and distem- 
pered minds of the Indians. In simshine and in storm, on the water and on the 
shore, in a mat lodge and under a roof, her presence, her words, and her acts 
of kindly charity, exerted a potent influence for good." 

Immediately after the battle Lieutenant Colonel Lander's company asstnned 

i|n!;ii''!i;iiiiiir:-^ m - 





Luniniand at Seattle, lie was aulliurized to employ iiulians from Doctor May- 
iiard's reservation. He further discharged all the members of his company who 
refused to be sworn into the territorial service for six months. All the Indians 
at Seattle and on the shore of Elliott Bay were removed to the reservation, this 
step receiving the support of II. L. Yesler and H. II. Tobin, special Indian agent 
under Doctor Maynard. Commander Swartwout retained for his special service 
eight Indians with their families — Old Curley, Curlcy's Charley, Jim, Lockey, 
Bob, Cowlitz, Jim's John and one other. Colonel Lander's Company A, as 
soon as it was well organized, was dispatched to a post about fourteen miles 
up the Duwamish River where it continued to do scouting duty for some time. 
11. L. Yesler was active in military circles at this time and was called "Captain" 
by the Olympia papers, probably through courtesy. The whole region around 
I^ke Washington and along tlie Duwamish was thoroughly scouted by Com- 
pany A. Franklin Matthias, of Seattle, was a quartermaster and commissary. 
Lieutenant Colonel Lander at the time was chief justice of the territory. Upon 
the retirement of Colonel Lander in the spring of 1856 Lieut. A. A. Denny 
was placed in command of Company A and the men were enrolled as territorial 

As soon as all danger of another attack upon Seattle was past, every effort 
>■< remove all the remaining Indians to the reservation was made. Lieutenant 
>enny was ordered on various occasions to assist in carrying this measure into 
effect. The records of the adjutant general show that Mr. Yesler was much 
relied upon to accomplish this result. He had great influence over the natives, 
because many of them had worked at his mill, had been paid and supported by 
him. Advantage of this fact was taken and he was asked to accompany the 
troops on nearly all their e.xpeditions to round up the savages and remove them 
to the west side. 

h'inally General Tilton issued orders for Lieutenant Denny to move his com- 
pany up to the fort on the Duwamish River, to make that point his headquarters 
and to thoroughly scout as far as Fort Hays for straggling Indians. Lieutenant 
Denny offered the objection to this order that if he should do so Seattle would 
l)e left without adequate protection. General Tilton replied that the objections 
were .satis factor)', but the company was ordered to go to Steilacoom by canoes 
for the following reasons: Colonel Lander said that forty men could be spared 
from Seattle ; small parties were traversing in safety the trail from .Snoquahnic 
Falls to Porter's Prairie ; Mr. Yesler reported that but si.x or eight Indians 
were still at large east of Seattle. Therefore, General Tilton concluded that 
Seattle w'as amply protected by the naval force, a detachtnent of Company A 
and the regulars at Fort Tliomas. Mr. Denny answered that it was not the 
Indians in Seattle that were to be feared, but the same liand that made the former 
attack were so situated that they could in one night's time reach and occupy 
their old places on Lake Washington, and would doubtless do so if the troops 
were withdrawn. Resides there were here only fifteen marines who were ordered 
not to go into the interior, and nearly the whole of the command upon White 
River had been withdrawn. Lieutenant Denny further insisted that the com- 
pany here had been raised expressly for the protection of this neighborhood and 
that this fact was understood at the start between Colonel Lander and the gov- 
ernor ami commander-in-chief. Fie said that these were the views by the mass 


of citizens here. But all these objections looked much like disobedience of 
orders and accordingly Lieutenant Denny was relieved of the command and 
Lieut. D. A. Neely was appointed to succeed him. The members of the 
company were indignant and at a meeting passed the following resolutions: 
"The undersigned members of Co. A, W'ashington Territory volunteers, by the 
following resolutions, express their undivided sentiment with regard to the 
matter herein alluded to : Resolvetl, That we individually, and as a company, 
do fully endorse and approve of the course jnirsued by Lieutenant Denny, of 
Company A, in his recent correspondence with the adjutant general in regard to 
certain orders by him issued. Resolved, That we know Lieutenant Denny to be 
an able and efficient officer and that we have full confidence in him as a com- 
mander. Resolved, That we do not approve of the course of the commander- 
in-chief in suspending Lieutenant Denny from his command, but on the contrary, 
consider it an act of injustice, and an insult to the company, wholly injustifiable 
and uncalled for. Resolved, That, in justice to Lieutenant Denny and to his 
company, the commander-in-chief should re-instate Lieutenant Denny in his com- 
mand immediately. 

(Signed) "Fort Lander, June 28, 1856 — D. H. Neely, second lieutenant; H. A. 
Smith, surgeon; John Henning, first sergeant; C. D. Boren. second sergeant; 
J. Ross, third sergeant; Jacob \\'ibbins, fourth sergeant; James Fieldin, first 
corporal; Walter Graham, second corporal; Jacob Maurer, third corporal; Asa 
Fowler, fourth corporal. Privates: Charles Miller. James Broad, Henry Wil- 
liams, B. W. Johns, John J. ^Moss, Ira B. Burlingame, James Morrison, John 
Haney, C. C. Thompson, A. Hargrave, Robert Hicks, Alonzo Russell, Samuel 
Bechtelheimer, Joseph Lake, Peter Lauder\ille, David Stanley, Robert H. Beatty, 
Henry Van Asselt, B. L. Johns, W. H. Gilliam, W. W. Ward, William F. Johns, 
William H. Brown, E. A. Clark, Lemuel J. Holgate, A. G. Terry, Geo. Bovvker, 
W. P. Smith, S. A. Maple." 

The passage of these resolutions caused General Tilton to issue an order 
that the signers must either repudiate or modify them or be placed in an attiude 
of insubordination which would preclude the possibility of their being honorably 
discharged froin the sendee. No objection was made to the request for the rein- 
statement of Lieutenant Denny, but only to the act of sustaining him in his 
refusal to obey orders. When called upon to modify or repudiate the resolu- 
tions almost the whole company refused to do so. The result was that the 
company was refused an honorable discharge and hence could secure no pay for 
their services. 

On December 8, 1856, Mr. Denny, then a member of the Territorial Council, 
introduced a resolution providing for the fihng of the final muster roll of Com- 
pany A, Second Regiment, W'ashington Territory Volunteers, by the adjutant 
general. Considerable discussion of the resolution followed and some opposi- 
tion developed. However, in the end it was reported on favorably and was 
finally passed by both houses as follows : 

Council Joint Resolution No. 5. — "Whereas, It has come to the knowledge of 
the legislative assembly that James Tilton, sur\'eyor general of the Territory of 
Washington, who has during the past year acted as adjutant general of the volun- 
teer forces of Washington Territon,^ employed in the recent Indian war, and in 
that capacity has refused to receive the final muster roll of Company A of the 



Second Regiment of Washington Territory Volunteers, which company had fully 
served out the pcriotl of their cnlistnienl and received honorable discharge from 
such service; therefore be it 

"Resolved, That the said James Tiltoii be and he is hereby instructed to 
icceivc and place on file in the oflkc of the adjutant general of Washington 
Territory the final muster roll of said Company A, and that said company be 
jilaced in all respects on the same footing as all other companies of the said 
Second Regiment, Washington Territory Volunteers. 

"Resolved. That copies of this resolution be sent to said James Tiiton and to 
tlie governor of Washington Territory."' 

In the November (1902) number of the United Service Magazine was 
reprinted from its first series a long article prepared by Rear Adminil Thomas 
Stowell Phelps, under the caption, "Reminiscences of Seattle, Washington Terri- 
tory, and the U. S. Sloop-of-War Decatur during the Indian War of 1855-56." 
.\s noted elsewhere, the writer at that time occupied a subordinate position on 
the vessel. So far as known he is the only one on the ship who left anything but 
a brief official account of local events, and therefore his paper has much histor- 
ical value and is here quoted from liberally as follows : 

"The population of Seattle in October, 1855, was about fifty souls, and the vil- 
lage contained only about fifty houses of all kinds. There were the sawmill, hotel, 
boarding house, five or six stores, a blacksmith and carpenter shoj), and little else 
besides residences. In a radius of about thirty miles there were outside of the vil- 
lage a population of about one hundred and twenty — or about one hundred and 
seventy in a circular tract of country about sixty miles in diameter, with Seattle 
as the center. At this time T. S. Phelps was the navigator aboard the Decatur. 
His account of the battle of Seattle, January 26, 1856, prepared about seventeen 
years afterward mainly from his private notes kept at the time and from con- 
versation with the citizens later, is set forth substantially in the following pages ; 

"Seattle was an intelligent Flathead Indian of medium height and prominent 
features, chief of the nation occup)ing the western shore of Admiralty Inlet 
contiguous to Port Madison. Covering the rich lands and excellent fishing 
grounds of the opposite bay, he waged war incessantly against the Duwamish 
tribe, who occupied this land of promise until exhausted in resources and war- 
riors the latter succumbed and acknowledged him as master Sucquardle, better 
known as Curley, the hereditary chief, accepted the fortunes of war and quietly 
submitted to his rule, and both chiefs appeared to live on friendly terms with the 
'Bostons,' as the Americans were called, in contradistinction to King George's 
man, which included all of English origin. 

"The Decatur was ordered to the Straits and Sound from Honolulu in June. 
1855, and dropped anchor 'at Duwamish Bay, near Seattle,' on October 4th of 
the same year. The leading officers of the vessel at this time were Isaac S. 
Stcrrett, captain; Edward Middleton, Andrew J. Drake and .Aaron K. Hughes, 
lieutenants, and T. S. Phelps, navigator. 

"l.atc in December and eariy in January Captain Hewitt's company, with 
Mr. Pcixotto as first lieutenant, occupied points of observation at the head of 
Duwamish Bay, while the Sound in the vicinity was patrolled regularly by the 
launches of the Decatur. The Active, Captain .Mden, was doing duty at Steila- 


"The! friendly Indian 'J""' (Yarkekeeman), on January 21st, informed 
Captain Gansevoort, who had assumed command of the Decatur Decemher loth, 
that a band of Indians irom over tlie Cascades had joined with another band on 
the west side of the same range, and ah had been divided into two columns under 
Coquilton and Owhi, respectively, to attack Steilacoom and Seattle simultaneously; 
that their divided force was so large that they expected to capture both places, 
which were to be sacked and burned and all the inhabitants murdered; that when 
the hostile chiefs were told of the large c|uantity of powder in the hold of the 
Decatur it was concluded to combine both divisions and concentrate the attack 
on Seattle and that vessel in order to secure the powder. and the vessel at the 
same time. 'Jim' was unable to state the number of Indians in the combined divi- 
sions of the hostiles, but said they were hi-hu, meaning very many. Generally 
the citizens did not believe Jim's story, but the ofiicers of the Decatur did, at 
least in part, and therefore prepared for any eventuality that might endanger 
the vessel or the village. The force of marines on the Decatur were divided into 
four divisions and a howitzer crew as early as January 8th, and the sloop was 
])ut in the best fighting trim. Every night thereafter the four divisions patrolled 
the village and guarded the inhabitants while they slept. 

"The divisions commanded by their respective officers were distributed along 
the line of defense in the following order: The fourth, under Lieutenant 
Dallas, commenced at the southeast point and extended along the bay shore to 
fhe sandbar, where, meeting with the right of the first division under Lieutenant 
Drake, the latter continued the line facing the swamp to a point half way from 
the bar to the hotel situated midway between the bar and Yesler's place, and 
there joined the second division under Lieutenant Hughes, whose left rested on 
the hotel, and completed an unbroken line between the latter and southeast point ; 
while the howitzer crew, under Lieutenant Phelps (the admiral), occupied that 
portion of the neck lying between the swamp and mound east of Yesler's place, 
to secure the approaches leading from the lake ; and the marines, under Sergeant 
Carbine, garrisoned the blockhouse. The divisions thus stationed left a gap 
betvk'een the second and third, which the width and impassable nature of the 
swamp at this place rendered unnecessary to close, thereby enabling a portion 
of the town to be encompassed which otherwise would have been exposed. The 
distance between the blockhouse and the southeast point, following the sinuosi- 
ties of the bay and swamp shores, was three-fourths of a mile, to be defended 
by ninety-six men, eighteen marines and five ofiicers, leaving Gunner Stocking 
and about twenty others on board to guard the ship. Surgeons Jefifrey and 
Taylor, Purser Jones and Sailmaker Warren composed the stafi: of the command- 
ing officer and did good service on shore. Of the entire ship's company, num- 
bering 145 officers and crew, only one, Hans Carl, an old seaman, was unable to 
answer when the muster roll was called. 

"Just before the battle of January 26th the company of Captain Hewitt was 
disbanded, there being apparently nothing for them to do and the village being 
well guarded against any probable attack by the crew of the Decatur. Admiral 
Phelps says that the company was disbanded January 22d, and refused to muster 
again even when the danger of attack grew more and more imminent, though 
about thirty of the former members finally agreed to reorganize and serve if 
Lieutenant Peixotto would command them, which he agreed to do, and they were 

HISTORY OF SEAT'rr.i; . 71 

accordingly mustered in and supplied with arms and equipment and assigned to 
the unoccupied space in the line of defense between the second and third divi- 
sions. But this force of citizens, not seeing the necessity of such rigid rules and 
such extreme precautions, and not feeling under strict obligations to maintain 
their posts all night, went home and to bed, leaving the ship's crew to guard the 
line." This conduct was naturally criticised sharply by Admiral Phelps, who 
mistakenly pictured the citizen soldiers as cowards. Captain Peixotto, a strict 
military disciplinarian, was displeased with the conduct of his men, threw up his 
command and was assigned to duty in the third division. 

"The Active arrived from Steilacoom on January 24th with Governor Stevens 
>iid staff, Captain Keycs and Indian Agent Simmons on board. The governor 
landed and in an address to all made light of the prospect of an attack from the 
Indians. He said there were here ready for fight about one hundred and forty- 
live men from tiie Decatur and about seventy-five able-bodied citizens, and 
declared he did not believe there were over fifty hostile Indians in the territory. 
He .said, 'I believe that the cities of New York and San Francisco will as soon 
be attacked by Indians as the Town of Seattle.' Piut all persons who had been 
here any great length of time felt that the governor was mistaken and that an 
attack might be expected at any moment. The evidence was too strong to be 
gainsaid. The movements of the hostiles were known through the espionage 
kept on them by friendlies under the direction of the ship's officers and the leading 
itizens of Seattle. In less than an hour after the governor left (the afternoon 
..[ the 25th) report was received that the enemy under Coquilton was api^roach- 
ing via Lake Duwamish. This report and others previously received caused 
([uite an exodus of citizens to other points to escape the threatened attack. 

"On the afternoon of the 25th Tecumseh (who was named by A. A. Denny 
in 1851), chief of the Lake Indians, came to Seattle with his whole tribe and 
ilaimed protection from the hostiles who they had learned had planned to kill 
thcni for being friendly to the whites. They were assigned to unoccupied ground 
in the south jiart of town and instructed to remain in camp and not stray away. 
This act of the friendly Indians was deemed ominous to the old citizens, who 
felt that such a step would not have been taken had the friendlies not had good 
evidence of the near a|)proach of an attack. 

"The night of January 25th was dark and nii.sty; at 5 o'clock 1'. M. the divi- 
>ions took their usual places to guard the village. About 8 o'clock two Indians 
wrapped in blankets sauntered along the line, and when accosted by the guards 
as to their names and business replied in Chinook, 'Lake Tillicum, and we have 
been to visit Curley.' The guard, believing them to be friendlies, directed them 
to pass on and regain their canij)s, whereupon they disai)pcarcd in the darkness 
to the southward. It afterwards was shown that these two Indians were Coquil- 
ton and Owhi. the commanders of the hostile forces, who had come as s])ies to 
the village to learn what preparations for defense had been made. During the 
early part of the night owl hoots were heard at several points along the woods in 
front of the line, and Curley was sent out to learn the causes, but soon returne<l 
with the report that nothing hostile was found. His manner being suspicious, 
he was watched and followed ;md was seen to enter the woods again, where he 
remained a considerable time. Mr. Yesler's house was headquarters for Captain 
Gansevoon and staff. 

Tol I- B 


"It became known at a later date that Curley, Tecumseh, Owhi, Coquilton, 
Leschi, Yarkekeeman and others assembled in the lodge of Tecumseh in the 
woods about midnight January 25th, to decide on a plan of operation. All 
whites were to be killed. Curley urged an exception in the case of Mr. Yesler, 
a great friend of the natives, but was overruled by the others. The plan was to 
commence at 2 o'clock A. M. by throwing the friendlies in between the village 
and vessel so as to prevent the escape of any in that direction, and then to 
slaughter all by a sudden and desperate assault all along the line. The vessel 
could not fire — would not dare to, not knowing where to aim. 'Jim,' the friendly 
Indian, so Admiral Phelps relates, opposed this plan of action in order secretly 
to help the whites. He counseled waiting until 10 o'clock on the morning of the 
26th, after all the crew had gone on board the Decatur and were in bed, and 
then to try to lure the others into ambush by showing a few Indians in the woods. 
This would call out an investigation from the whites, and when they were well 
in the woods they could all be killed by an overwhelming charge from the whole 
Indian force. This plan caught the fancy of the savages and was adopted. 

"Soon after the departure of the chiefs Coquilton and Owhi, Jim, eluding 
the vigilance of Curley, succeeded in gaining the back room of Doctor William- 
son's house and scarcely had time to signify his desire for an immediate inter- 
view before Curley stalked in from the street and insolently demanded to know 
what had become of Jim. The doctor quickly placed his hand on the intruder 
and violently thrust him through the door and turned the key ; a few miiuite!- 
placed that gentleman in possession of the occurrences in the Indian camp, and 
no sooner had its vital import been grasped than he dispatched messengers to 
Mr. Yesler, urging him without a moment's delay to notify Captain Gansevoort 
of the presence of the Indians and the imminence of an immediate attack, with 
which demand that gentleman quickly complied. The moment this information 
reached the ship the long roll was sounded, the crew, without breakfast, were 
rushed to the deck, and in a few minutes were at their stations on the beach and 
in the village. 

"About this time Kicumulow (Nancy), Curley 's sister and the mother of 
Yarkekeeman, ran past the line, calling out, 'Hiu Kliktat copa Tom Pepper's 
house; hiu Kliktat' (a very large number of Klickitats near Tom Pepper's 
house). This house was in the woods partly concealed by the trees. Captain 
Gansevoort ordered the troops to keep their beats and promised to send them 
their breakfasts soon. Many of them were congregated in the loft of Mr. Yes- 
ler's building all armed and ready for the fight which was soon expected and 
seemed imminent. Here an altercation occurred between the troops and a 
number of citizens, but was quelled in short order by the officers. When the 
news of the immediate attack on the town was received, Captain Gansevoort 
sent word to the Decatur to commence firing by dropping a shell in the vicinity of 
Tom Pepper's house. At this stage the howitzer rang loud and clear, coinci- 
dent with the heavy boom of big cannon on board the Decatur, which threw a 
shell over the heads of the troops into the woods where the enemy seemed congre- 
gated. The shot was followed instantly by a heavy fire from the Indian line 
and from the troops, accompanied by the yells of the savages. The costumes 
of the officers were similar to that of the soldiers, but their positions and initiative 
revealed them to the savages who from the commencement of the battle endear- 




ored lu jjick tlu-iii olT. Lieutenant Peixotto was known from the start and 
consequently was sliot at often during the continuance of the fight. Once, while 
standing on the blockhouse steps with young Holgate two or three steps above 
him, he was fired at by an Indian concealed behind a tree but a short distance 
away, but the shot missed its intended mark and pierced the brain of the boy, 
who fell dead without a word. To the southward the battle assumed the nature 
of a long range duel and neither party could approach the other without incurring 
certain death. Here and elsewhere the citizens assisted in the defense, although 
they were really not needed. The frequent roaring of the cannon of the Decatur, 
the explosion of the shells in the woods, the sharp report of the howitzer, the 
incessant rattle of small arms and an uninterrupted whistling of bullets, mingled 
with the furious yells of the Indians, pictured a scene long to be remembered. 
A young man named Wilson lost his life when an Indian bullet severed his 
s|)inal column. At intervals there could be heard above the din of battle the 
shrill voices of the Indian women urging the delinquent warriors to the front. 
It was reported that a 15-second shell when fired into the midst of a gathering 
of the enemy killed when it exploded about ten persons and wounded many 
more, though this afterward was denied. How many Indians were killed in this 
battle will never be known, nor will the number actually engaged. The number 
of deaths were comparatively few owing to the distance which separated the 
combatants. The Indians did not dare to show themselves in the open — were 
kept back by fear of the cannon shells and round shots. At 1 1 45 the firing 
suddenly ceased, but was renewed promptly at noon with greater fury than ever, 
doubtless due to the last desperate attempts of the enemy to gain some advantage. 
A small squad of men from across the Sound appeared at this juncture and took 
part in the battle on the part of the whites; among them were Doctor Taylor. 
Mr. Smithers, Thomas Russell and four young men from Meiggs' mill. Many 
of the citizens took no part in the fight, because the Indians were easily controlled 
by the troops and the vessel. Several howitzers were landed and employed on 
the field, and no doubt aided greatly in keeping the Indians from making charges 
on the line. About 3 o'clock in the afternoon the firing slowly ceased and finally 
died away. Thus at no time was the village in danger so long as the Decatur 
was present and in action. The Indians did not dare, in the face of the odds 
against them, to close with the line of the whites at any time, but did their best 
at a distance." 

Admiral Phelps fixes tlie number of Indians engaged at 2,000, but it is now 
certain that not over three hundred were actually engaged, and they were at long 
range. This fact and the great distance between the lines account for the few 
casualties of the battle. The account given by Admiral Phelps shows the animus 
entertained by the regulars of the old school toward the volunteers in times 
before the Civil war. His account shows on its face the prejudice he felt and 
several of his descriptions are ridiculous and unbelievable. Still the account 
contains the germ of the truth, the best that will jirobably ever be known. 

During the day of the battle about fifty women and children found refuge 
on board the Decatur, and nearly half as many more on board the Brontes, then 
in the harbor. The adult males, those not in the fighting line, were in the block- 
house. The morning of the 27th showed that the Indians had dejjarted, but all 
necessary |)recautions were taken to forestall any resumption of the contest. 


The reports of the cannon were heard nearly the whole length of the Sound. 
At 4 o'clock the news had reached Bellingham Bay, and at noon on the 27th the 
Active, with Governor Stevens on board, steamed into the bay. The governor 
acknowledged that he had been mistaken. The report came at this time that the 
savages had started for Steilacoom, whereupon the Active promptly left for that 
jioint. The Indians had been so confident of victory that they had not supplied 
themselves with the necessary provisions, and so were obliged to divide into small 
bands and look for subsistence. Coquilton sent back word that he would return 
later and yet capture Seattle and butcher the inhabitants. The three leading 
points of the battle were the south end. the blockhouse and the sawdust of the 
Yeslcr mill. 

Immediately succeeding the battle a council of the citizens resolved on a 
permanent defense, and Mr. Yesler volunteered a full cargo of sawed lumber 
for that purpose. The citizens and the four divisions of troops from the Decatur 
assembled and erected barricades, two fences five feet high and eighteen inches 
apart and filled witii earth between. This breastwork was quickly built from 
the shore beyond Plummer's house to the blockhouse, and thence over the bluff 
to the water's edge, the distance barricaded being about twelve hundred yards 
and enclosing a large portion of the town. A second blockhouse was also erected 
about two hundred feet east of the hotel on the summit of the ridge near the 
swamp. An old ship's cannon, battered and rusted and half hidden in the mud, 
was unearthed, mounted and placed on duty in the new blockhouse. It vi^as 
reinforced by a 6-pounder field piece borrowed from the Active. Officers and 
troops and citizens cleared the adjacent fields and front of all stumps and brush, 
to be in readiness for a clean sweep in case of a future attack. A large amount 
of work was done in a short time. "Soon South Seattle assumed the appearance 
of a well laid out town." The large boarding house on the lowest part of the 
peninsula was kept by an Irishwoman whom the troops called "Madam Damnable." 
By February 15th the blockhouse and the barricades were finished. Lieutenant 
Drake with ten men and six marines were detailed to guard the north end of the 
town, and Lieutenant Phelps with the same number and Lieutenant Johnson with 
ten men from the Active were detailed to guard the south end. All the others 
except Doctor Taylor returned to the vessels. On F'ebruary 24th the United 
States steamer Massachusetts. Captain Swartwout, arrived. Being senior officer 
of the -Sound. Captain Swartwout assumed supreme command. The Active left 
when the Massachusetts arrived. Soon after the battle a new company of the 
citizens was organized with Col. Edward Lander in command; it became Com- 
pany A of the Second Regiment, Washington Territory Volunteers. In March 
the United States steamer John Hancock dropped anchor in the harbor, and thus 
at one time three fighting ships were here — Decatur, Massachusetts and John 
Hancock. It became known later that when Pat Kanim determined to unite 
with the whites he stipulated with the territorial authorities for the payment of 
$80 to him for the head of every chief killed by his tribe and $20 per capita for 
the heads of those of lesser note, the heads to be delivered on board the Decatur 
and by that vessel forwarded to Olympia to be counted and recorded. During 
the month of February, 1856, several invoices of these ghastly trophies were 
received and sent to their destination. A courtmartial at Seattle, ordered by 
Governor Stevens, tried some twenty of the Indians who were concerned in the 






attack oil Seattle, but as the evidence showed tliat they were guilty of nothing but 
legitimate warfare, they were discharged. On December 2, 1856, the beloved 
ship Uecatur left Seattle for the last time, was towed to sea by the John Hancock, 
and then sailed for San Francisco. 

In September, 1903, Harvey W. Scoti. of the Orcgoniaii, ot Portland, said: 
"It is fifty years since I came to I'ugct Sound and it was in the year 1856 that 
I first saw Seattle. The city at that time consisted of from twelve to twenty 
houses, many of them whitewashed, and they made a very pretty picture with 
the dark background of green forest. In 1856. as one of the volunteers in the 
liiilian wars of that year, I went with a company of horsemert from Olympia 
around through the interior to Sno(|ualmie l""alls, thence down the Souiul near 
Ivverett and across to W'hidby Island, where we got some Indians to lake us back 
to Olympia in canoes. It was while jiassing KUiott Hay on ilial tri|i tliat 1 first 
-aw .Seattle." 

l'"ollowing the custom llieii prev;dent among tiie officers of the regular army 
and navy, Admiral Phelps docs not speak very kindly about the citizen soldiers 
of Seattle. The officers often re])roaclicd the \oluntcer soldiers of Oregon and 
Washington witii cowardice because they would not stand up in the o])en to be 
shot at by Indians concealed by trees, logs, etc., at the same time the volunteers 
Iiad as much contempt for the ignorance of the regulars regarding Indian lighting 
as the latter hatl for tliem for their supposed lack of courage. .As a matter of 
fact, the men who had the hardihood to come here in those days, often bringing 
their families with them, could not be cowards. I'luir bravcn,' and devotion 
to duty were manifested every day of their lives. 

The effect of the Indian war upon the entire Territory of Washington was 
most disastrous, and especially so in the thinly settled region of the Puget Sound 
country. It not only retarded settlement, but those already made were in many 
instances deserted, and for years thereafter was almost entirely checked. Dis- 
louragemcnt and almost despair took [Kjssession of all, and many of the timid 
.Mid irresolute renio\ed to the more populous regions of Oregon and Californi.i. 
Seattle, in common with the other settlements on the Sound, for years after felt 
the eflfects of the disaster which had fallen on the country. "The winter after 
the war closed," says Mr. Denny, ''was a period of ])iiichiiig want and great 
privation such as was never experienced here except in iho winter of 1852-33. 
Those who remained until the war closed were so discouraged and so much in 
dread of another outbreak that they were unwilling to i-elurn to their homes in the 
I ountry and undertake the task of rebuilding thcni. and in consequence it was 
years before we recovered our lost ground to any extent." Business was gener- 
ally stagnant. Little in the way of building or im])rovcmcnt was attempted. 
Roads that had been opened before the war had become mostly well-nigh impassa- 
ble, and some of them entirely so, and active efforts were not resumed to improve 
the roads and open communication with the country cast of the mountains until 
t865, a period of ten years. 

Nearly every farmer in the country bail been practically bankrui)ted by the 
war. Ciovernor Stevens published notices in regard to "claims for damages by 
Indians," and it was generally supposed that Congress would at once pay for the 
damages caused by reservation Indians, who were wards of the (jovernment. 
fhc first paragraph of the notice was: "It must be shown clearly that the 


property has been taken by force, or that it has been mahciously destroyed, and 
that the person to whom it belonged was lawfully in the Indian country." A 
later paragraph contained the warning that any attempt to obtain private satis- 
faction in revenge against the Indians supposed to have committed the injuries 
would be good cause for the rejection of his claim. These Indian war claims 
have been a matter of interest and contention from that time down to almost the 
present. Every few years the claimants would be called upon for additional 
particulars and more binding affidavits. Whenever some particular pet of the 
department having them in charge wanted a nice outing he would be sent out 
here to take additional testimony in regard to Indian war claims. This began 
in Buchanan's term, but Lincoln's term was too much occupied with more serious 
affairs to waste time in such foolishness, but soon afterward visits of the officers 
began again. Democrat or republican, it made no difference; each man had a 
good salary and all expenses paid and each man got more affidavits, and each 
time the claimants felt renewed hopes that they would now get their dues. This 
went on for forty years, and no claims were paid, but finally, after nearly every 
one of the claimants had died of old age, the attorney general settled the matter 
by deciding that the country was in a state of war at that time and therefore the 
Government could not be held responsible for these claims. Dickens' "circum- 
locution office" would have found in these claims fine material for official action 
and correspondence. 

October 30, 1856, Adjutant General James Tilton issued general orders dis- 
banding the volunteers of Washington Territory. "The most cordial thanks of 
the commander-in-chief are given for the signal gallantry, resolute endurance 
and excellent discipline they have displayed and maintained during their six 
months' arduous, faithful and efficient service. The people of Washington Ter- 
ritory will know how to honor for all time the devoted and fearless men who 
have maintained the foothold of civilization upon the remote frontier. 

"History will present the fact with credit and honor to the volunteer force 
that during the six months of active service of 1,000 of the citizens of Wash- 
ington Territory not a single friendly Indian has been harmed in a volimteer 
camp or scout, no Indian has been plundered or molested, and the captured prop- 
erty of defeated savages has been in many cases turned over to the proper officers 
and faithfully accounted for by them. 

"Devotion to the serv'ice, aided by the patriotism and generosity of the citizens, 
has enabled a widely scattered community of 1,700 American citizens to keep 
on foot, feed, clothe, arm and properly mount 1,000 most efficient and serviceable 

"With these facts for the future historian, the year 1856, although disastrous 
in material prosperity, is rich in honorable achievements and will be dwelt upon 
by the descendants of the troops now returning to their avocations of peace 
with pride and exultation." 

These were the eloquent words of a brave and talented soldier and citizen, 
and deserved to have been prophetic, but it is doubtful if one in a hundred of the 
descendants of these volunteers ever read or heard of them. 


It is customary for authorities to classify Indians according to the language 
thc-y speak. According to this classification the Indians of Pugct Sound, with 
one tribe excepted, belong to the Salishan family, which inhabited, besides the 
>ound region, portions of British Columbia, all the northern part of Wash- 
ington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana, and a small strip of Western 
Oregon. In 1909 the total number of Salishan Indians was 18,630 then, of course, 
on reservations. This work is chiefly concerned with a group of Salishan, the 
Xisqually group, in which the ties of kinship were verj- close among the various 
tribes and bands comprising it. This Nisqually group embraced all tribes east of 
Puget Sound and south as far as Mount Rainier, and on the west side, the 
region up to Olympia except Hood Canal. There were two dialectic divisions, 
the Nisqually proper and the Snohomish. The best known of the tribes were 
the Nisqually, Duwamish, Puyallup, Skagit, Snoqualmu or Snoquamish, and 

In dealing with Indian classifications it must be borne in mind that the names 
most familiar to the settlers were not always the names of the larger tribes, 
init merely bands, which were confused as tribes. The names of the most 
familiar tribes and bands in the vicinity of Seattle are as follows : 

The Duwamish, whose chief location was at the outlet of Lake Washington. 
Lake Washington was known for a long time as Duwamish Lake until christened 
Lake Washington. The Duwamish River takes its name from this tribe. Their 
population about 1856 was given from sixty-four to three hundred and twelve. 
The word Duwamish has been misapplied to include many distinct tribes in 
the vicinity. In 1856 they were removed to the east shore of Bainbridge Island, 
but owing to the absence of a fishing ground were shortly after taken to the 
west side of Elliott Bay. The remnant is now resident at the Tulalip Reserva- 

The Shilshole, which inhabiated the region about Salmon Bay and Shilshole 
Hay. and who early disappeared from the country. They were evidently only a 
small band and moved elsewhere. They did, however, leave their name as a 
landmark on the bay. Most of our knowledge of them comes from the late 
Dr. H. A. Smith, of Smith's Cove, who settled there in 1853. When he arrived 
they consisted of a dozen families of some five or six hundred souls, all told, 
but claimed to have at one time been able to muster several thousands. Their 
reduction had been brought about by the constant excursions of the northern 
Indians who killed many, took others away as slaves, and drove still others away 
rom their original habitat into the interior where they lost their tribal identity 
in the surrounding tribes. 

The Samamish. whose name according to Gibbs, was a corruption of the 



Skagit word "hunter," inhabited the region about the lake of the same nan-e. 
This lake was first known to the settlers as Squak Lake and the Indians as llie 
Squak Indians. In 1854 they numbered loi all told, and were probably a band 
of the Duwamish. They followed the fortunes of that tribe and were consid- 
ered as Duwamish in the removals. 

Closely allied to the Duwamish if not really a part was the Suquamish tribe 
which claimed the land on the west side of Puget Sound from Appletree Cove to 
Gig Harbor. Their population in 1857 was 441. A band of these, the Shomamish, 
occupied Vashon Island. 

The chief of these closely allied tribes was Seattle (or Sealth) after whom 
the city was named. He was born at the Old Man House on the Port Madison 
Reservation about the year 1790, the son of a Suquamish father named Schweabe 
and a Duwamish princess Scholitza. He is described as large in size, dignified 
in appearance, generous, kind, and unasstmiing, yet cotirageous and fearless in 
the face of danger. It is said that he acquired his high position among the vari- 
ous tribes and bands by a clever display of diplomacy. When he was in the 
prime of his manhood intelligence was brought to his people that the Indians in 
the White and Black river regions were planning an excursion against the 
Old Man House tribes. A meeting was quickly called and the sentiments of the 
warriors heard. Finally Seattle presented his plan and it was accepted. He was 
to take with him a large number of warriors who were to ambush themselves at 
a bend in the Black River and wait for the canoes of the enemy as they came 
down. This he did. To fttrther facilitate his plan a large tree was cut down 
and placed across the river just beyond the bend so as not to be visible to the 
oncoming canoes. Then his warriors waited. Presently several large canoes of 
the enemy came down with the current, unaware of the danger. They swiftly 
made the bend and came suddenly on the log which was to obstruct their passage. 
As was expected, the canoes plunged into the log and the occupants were cast 
into the stream and there quickly set upon by Seattle's warriors and slain. Their 
companions further up stream heard their cries and made for the shore where 
they hastily debarked and spread the woeful intelligence of the disaster to their 
people, with the result that the premeditated attack was abandoned. Seattle was 
quickly proclaimed chief of his peoples. He then prepared to make his authority 
known and respected among the tribes which sought to attack his peoples, and by 
other displays of diplomacy backed by show of force soon overshadowed all the 
chiefs in that region and became their recognized leader. 

When the first settlers came to the Sound Seattle let it be known that he was 
their friend and there are none of the early pioneers but who attest to his friend- 
ship for the whites. Soon after the city was founded it became necessary to find 
a name and Seattle was chosen in honor of the friendly chief. It has been claimed 
he was not so well pleased with this honor. This was probably due to Indian 
superstition, the local Indian belief being that the mention of a dead man's name 
disturbs his spirit. 

Though a man of great natural abilities. Chief Sealth never learned either 
the Chinook or the English languages; nor did any of the older Indians. An 
interpreter was always necessary whenever any of the whites wished to converse 
with him. In appearance, he was dignified, but somewhat bent with age, 
in the early '60s, and at that time he always walked with a staflf in his hand. He 













luokcd like a superior man among his people. Though ihe lop of his head had 
l)ecn flattened in childhood, the malformation was not so a])parent as it was in all 
tiic other old Indians of his ilay. Usually he wore but a single garment. That 
was a Hudson's Bay Company's blanket, the folds of which he held together with 
one hand, and from their midst apjierircd llii- hroad chest and strong arm of 
bronze which grasped his stall. 

When the treaty with the Indians was made at Point Elliott or Muckilteo in 
1S55, which is treated at another place in this book, Seattle was the first signer; 
and during the Indian war which was to follow because of ilissatisfaction regard- 
ing the intentions of the whites, Seattle maintained a friendly altitude, having 
faith in the whites to do right by the Indians. 

Tiirough the eOorts of the French missionaries lie became a Catholic and 
inaugurated regular morning and evening prayers in his tribe, which were con- 
tinued by his jK'ople after his death. He died June 7, )S66, at the Old Man House 
from a fever or ague, but he was very old. His funeral was attended by hun- 
dreds of the whiles from all parts of the Sound, and G. A. Meigs, of the Port 
Madison mill, closed down the establishment in his honor. He was buried accord- 
mg to the rites of the Catholic Church with Indian customs added. An account 
of his last days and death was recorded in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for 
January i, 1SS4, as follows: 

"In 1866 Seattle's ( Seallh's I health began to fail. Month after nionlli lie 
grew weaker and weaker till at last he became helpless, but his mind was clear, 
and he fully realized his condition. Just lieforc he lireathed his last the native 
priest and principal men of the trilie gathered about him and he was told that he 
was dying. 'It's well,' said he, 'my heart is good. 1 have only one thing to ask 
.iiid that is for my good friend — always my friend — to come to my funeral and 
•-hake hands with me before I am laid in the ground.' These were the venerable 
old man's last words ; he closed his eyes and his spirit deixirled. The event cast 
a gloom over the whole village. I'-very member of his tribes seemed to be deeply 
afflicted. IJul there was none of the vociferous howling and liunulrum of the 
medicine man so common among all tlu- trilies of the coast on such occasions. A. 
messenger was dispatched to Port Madison to announce the death of Seattle, the 
day the funeral ceremony would take jilace, and his last request. .At the appointed 
time Mr. Meigs embarked on board his steamer Old Man House to pay the last 
mark of his respect to his deceased friend. 

"A stalwart native priest arose, and conducted the funeral services of the 
fvoman Catholic Church with touching solemnity. Then one of the sub-chiefs 
^tood forth, who repeated in measured Indian cadence used when discoursing 
(111 great events the name of 'Seattle — Seattle.' The speaker continued: 'The 
spirit of our great chief has gone, gone to the good land a great way off. His 
heart was always good, was like the sun, not like the moon, for that is changing. 
Seattle was a great chief, he knew better what was good for us than we knew 
ourselves. But why do I sjieak? For his son is here, he knows best about our 
good chief, he is his own flesh and blood, let him talk.' 

"The young man then stood up and calmly said : 'My father's remains lie 
before us; they are going to yonder hill to be buried deep in the earth. Ages ago 
this mode of burial would have appalled us, for the dead bodies of our ancestors 
were elevated on trees, or laid in canoes above the ground. But the priest came 


among us and taught us the prayer. We are Christians now. Before he came 
the Seattles were the first in chase and the first to draw the bow and the knife 
in time of war; but the Godly man taught us to build. good houses; how to 
cultivate the soil; and how to get money, like white men. He has told us, too, 
that when the Son of God was buried in the earth a great stone was rolled over 
his grave; but when God called him to heaven, the stone rolled back, and His 
Son came forth. We know that my father was the last great chief of the 
Seattles, They were his friends, so were the Indians of other tribes — because 
he was just to all. In the last strife with the whites, my father was threatened 
because he would not fight ; but he feared no one but God. Some of the Indians 
made threats. The chief of the Seattles told them that when there was cause for 
.sliedding blood they would find him on the warpath night and day. We are all 
glad that those troubles and times have passed. We are all glad that the great 
chief's hands were never stained with a white man's blood. He is now dead, but 
his name will live in the memory of all good Indians, as a wise, brave and 
Christian chief.' The young man then drew from his breast the photograph of 
Seattle and exclaimed: 'The white man will not forget him, for here is his 
picture, made by the lights of the heavens, the older it grows, the more it will be 
prized. When the Seattles are no more, their chief will be remembered and 
revered by the generations to come.' The harangues being ended, a breath of 
excitement passed through the congregation as Mr. Meigs stepped forward and 
shook the hands of the old chief in compliance with his dying prayer. Imme- 
diately afterwards the procession was formed, and the remains, followed by 
400 mourners, were borne to the cemetery, where Seattle was laid in his sepulchre, 
beside the woodland that was once his hunting ground; and in sight of the waters 
■of Admiralty Inlet, where his canoes once danced on the waves." 

The memory of Chief Seattle always remained tender in the minds of the 
citizens of Seattle and about 1890 some of the public spirited citizens led by 
Arthur A. Denny, Hillory Butler, and Samuel L. Crawford erected a monument 
to his honor which they placed over his grave with the following inscription : 


Chief of the Suquamps and Allied Tribes, 

Died, June 7, 1866. 

The Firm Friend of the Whites, and for Him the 

City of Seattle Was Named by 

Its Founders. 

(On the reverse side:) 

Baptismal name, Noah Sealth, 

Age probably 80 years. 

The most interesting landmark left by the Indians in these parts was the old 
potlatch house at Port Madison which was the residence of Chief Seattle and his 
sub-chiefs. It was an enormous structure as shown by its ruins, and this has 
led many investigators to speculate as to its origin and purpose. It is a well- 
known fact that almost all the tribes and bands in this region built large struc- 
tures called potlatch houses where the great ceremonies of gift-giving were held ; 


i)iit none is so large as this one at Port Madison. Some persons have advanced 
the theory that it was built as a fortress to ward off the attacks of the Northern 
Indians; others contend that it could not have been built by Indian labor as 
the Indians had no machinery or tools sufricieiit in size to prepare the large limbers 
used, and it must have been built by white laborers, probably by some unfortunate 
ship carpenters obtained from a derelict. Its origin will probably remain a mys- 
tery for all time. 

In 1903 a student of the University of Washington, Frank Carlson, A. M., 
made extensive investigations of the old house, extracts of which are here 
quoted : 

"The history of the Old-Man-Housc, or as the Indians called it, Tsu-Cub, pos- 
sesses peculiar interest, which distinguishes it from almost all other Indian archi- 
tecture in the New World. If it were possible to unravel fully the history of 
the people who built and frequented this house, we would undoubtedly have a 
liistory as full of romance as the story of Troy, so beautifully described by 

"This magnificent house was situated at Port Madison Reservation on the 
l)cach of the northwest side of the Agate Passage, just where the water separates 
from Admiralty Inlet to form Bainbridge Island — it is about twenty-five kilo- 
meters northwest of Seattle. It was an ideal location for an Indian village, 
only a short distance of about one thousand feet across Agate Passage to Bain- 
bridge Island on the south ; on the north and west was land and on the east the 
mighty arm of the Pacific. Besides they could take advantage of the incoming 
tide and float southward to any destination with rapidity and return with the out- 
going tide. 

"The ground-plan of this house is still traceable, although there is only one 
post standing; all the others have rotted off where they entered the surface of the 
ground, and then been washed away by the tide or burned by the Indians ; but 
that part which remained in the ground is in perfect preservation, and shows 
plainly the location of the house. 

"In front, the outline of the house measures about nine hundred feet, in the 
rear a little less, as the house curved somewhat to correspond with the beach. 
In width, it measures about sixty feet, with the exception of a short distance at 
ich end of the house, where it measures only fifty feet. At the north end, the 
rear end of a few of the rafters rested upon the bank. In height, it w-as twelve 
feet in front and between eight and nine in the rear. 

"It covered an area of about an acre and a quarter, containing about forty 
apartments, each entirely separated from the other by a partition of boards or 
planks split from cedar, held together by sticks fastened at the top with withes. 

"The total number of posts is given by Gibbs to have been seventy-four, which 
is about the correct number for the corner posts. The size of the posts differ; 
in front they were about fifteen feet long, two or four feet wide and ten to 
twelve inches thick; in the rear they were twelve feet long with the same width 
and thickness as those in front. All the posts were notched at the top and placed 
in iiosition with the liark side facing the interior of the house and tamped solidly 
until they could support the great weight that rested upon them. 

"The rafters consisted of round cedar logs, hewed off at the upper side so 
as to make it level for the roof. They were about sixty-five feet long with a 


diameter of twenty-four or more inches in the large end and about twelve in llie 
small end. These rafters had also a post in the middle to support them. 

"The roof was covered with cedar boards (shakes), which were laid on planks 
that rested on the rafters. 

''The outside walls of the building, like the roof, consisted of split cedar 
planks which were put up similar to the partitions. 

"In each apartment was one or more fireplaces, which were generally made 
of sttDne and raised a little from the ground. There was an opening in the roof 
through which the smoke escaped. This opening could be closed wdien desired. 

"Each apartment contained several rooms separated from each other by 
mattings suspended from the ceiling, and in several of these rooms were raised 
bunks constructed around the walls for beds, on which were used as bedding, 
mats. On each end of the apartment was a door which hung on wooden hinges. 

"The chief apartment, occupied by Sealth, was built very strong; the wall in 
front consisted of very heavy posts with several openings, and a contrivance to 
place in front of the door' in case of an attack by unfriendly tribes. In a like 
manner Kitsap's apartment was fortified. 

"Furthermore, on every corner post in front of the chief's and sub-chief's 
apartments, was carved the figure of the big 'Thunderbird' in the proportions 
in which it had fixed itself in the minds of that particular tribe; and also a 
grotesque figure of a man, about half size, naked, and with bow and arrow. 
This latter figure was supposed to represent the ancestor of the tribe. There 
were also smaller carvings on the other front posts. 

"This massive house of the Indians of Puget Sound was over thirty times as 
large as the houses built by the mighty nation of the Iroquois, which were, accord- 
ing to Morgan's description, from fifty to one hundred feet long, and about seven- 
teen feet wide. 

"As to the time when this house was built, there are various conjectures; 
some claim that it was constructed about the middle of the eighteenth century by 
one of the tribes of the Dwamish Confederacy ; others think that it was built in the 
beginning of the nineteenth century. The latter opinion is undoubtedly correct 
as Vancouver does not make any mention of the house. But the best evidence, 
perhaps, that can be adduced is the great mass of crushed, broken and roasted 
clam shells that are found to a considerable depth over every portion of the 
beach, even as far out as deep water. 

"An Indian whose name was Sub-Qualth has given the following informa- 
tion : Tn the Tsu-Cub lived eight great chiefs and their people. Space in the 
big was allotted each chief and his people and this was religiously con- 
secrated to them and never encroached upon by others. To old Chief Sealth was 
given the position of honor ; Chief Kitsap next, Sealth's aged father ranked 
third, and Tsu-Lu-Cub came fourth. These four Sub-Qualth remembered as they 
represented one-half of the Tsu-Cub. The next four Sub-Qualth did not remem- 
ber, but his father, who was a cousin of Chief Sealth, had told him their names. 

"That the Old-Man-House was originally built for a Potlatch House there is 
no doubt, but it was also used as a residence for part of the year. It was chiefly 
used for that when the whites came. 

"Directly across from the Old-Man-House is located at Point Agate, perhaps, 
*:he only permanent record of these tribes. Upon the flat surface of the rock is 


engraved characters of different descriptions whose meaning neither the wliites 
nor the Indians have been able to interpret. This engraving is said to have been 
done by the Taniahnous Alan." 

With the coming of the pioneer, the Indian distinctions of caste disappeared, 
and all Indians — chiefs, princes ur plain siwash — became just Indians. Of 
Seattle's descendants considerable is known. He had at least two recognized 
wives, and perhaps many slave concubines, after the Indian custom. By each 
wife he had children, the best known of whom was i\ngcline, so called by the 
whites, but whose Indian names were Wee-wy-cke and Kick-is-om-lo. If she 
were a princess, she never knew it or cared for its honors, for after the whites 
came she took advantage of the economic situation to earn a little chickamin in 
the role of washerwoman, and for many years was known to the pioneer fam- 
ilies in that capacity. She is said to have been l)orn about 1830 arid was thus in 
the prime of life when the city was founded. I Icr husband was Dokub Cud, half- 
Skagit and half-Cowichan, and by him she had two daughters, Mary and Lizzie. 
The latter married a half breed, Joe Foster, who was a good-for-nothing, whose 
ill treatment caused her to commit suicide by hanging just after giving birth 
to a male child, Joe Foster, Jr., who remained the constant friend of his grand- 
mother until the time of her death which occurred May 31, 1896. Mary married 
William DeShaw, a white man, who, in spite of his Indian wife, was a man of 
influence in his day, and was well liked in Kitsap and King counties. For a great 
many years his store at Point Agate did a large business. lie was among the 
first on the Sound to make a specialty of curing herring and salmon by smoking 
;ind putting them up in attractive form so they found ready sale. At one time 
lie was in possession of a goodly fortune acquired through his numerous activities. 
Their children were Ian Mary, who married C. J. Thompson, long resident of 
''"Ft Madison; Lulu, Gladys, Ina, Chester, Charles and lUanchc. Lulu was niar- 
(I to J. Sikcman, and their children were Lea and Will .Mien. 
By Seattle's second wife there were two sons who married early and died 
many years ago ; also Moses, who was still living at last accounts. 

When Angeline was a very small child her parents christened her Kick-is- 
om-Io Sealth, and she managed to worry along with this name until she was about 
'vcnty years of age, when she got married to an Indian with the cui)hnnious 
Lrnomen of Dokub Cud, when she, of course, became Mrs. Dokub Cud. Three 
ildren were born to her while she bore the name of Cud. Onb of them died 
I ry young, one married a clerk in Plummer's store, and the other married 
luster, the father of Joe. Early in the '50s Mrs. Maynard came to Seattle, 
and meeting the da.s'hing widow Cud, asked her name. The daughter of Seattle 
replied, in the best Chinook at her command, that her friends and acquaintances 
all knew her as Kick-is-om-lo Cud, widow of the late Dokub Cu<l. Mrs. May- 
nard laughed and replied : "You are too good looking a woman to carry around 
such a name as that, and I now christen you Angeline.'' Mrs. Cufl took kindly to 
the change, and from that time to the day of her death she was known by all as 
.Angeline. Mr. W. W. White, in speaking of her at the time of her <Ieath, said: 
"I came to Seattle in 185S and have known .\ngeline ever since that time, and 
she is the only Indian woman I have ever known whose morals were above 
reproach. 1 have never heard a breath of scandal against her." The writer 
confirms this statement emphatically. 


Verbal intercourse between tbe white and the Indians- was kept up by means of 
that strange volapuk known as the Chinook Jargon. The jargon is not a language 
in the full sense of that term but it does illustrate how few words are really neces- 
sary to express the simple needs of daily life. It was first brought to public notice 
about 1810, when it began to develop with the advent of the fur companies on the 
coast. It was not an invention but a growth. The basis of the jargon was about 
two hundred words of the Chinook Indian language which the traders were 
forced to learn and use in order to make their wants and desires known to the 
Indians. The reason for the predominance of the Chinook vocabulary was the 
fact that most of the early trade in these parts was with those Indians. These 
words spread to other tribes who wanted to trade. Gradually, however, other 
words crept into the jargon — Nootka, English, French, etc., for the trader brought 
many articles which had no Chinook name, and the Indians seldom invented a 
new name for a new article ; they preferred to take the white man's name. The 
officers and leaders of the Hudson's Bay Company, as well as the American trad- 
ers and early settlers, spoke the English language, and this fact accounts for 
the English additions to the jargon. The ser\ants of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, on the other hand, were chiefly French-Canadians, as were the first Cath- 
olic priests, and through them many French words came into use. Very few of 
the English or French words were preserved in their original purity because the 
Indian could not pronounce them perfectly. Thus an Indian cannot pronounce a 
word beginning with "r;" his best attempt is an "1" so that words like rum and 
rice are pronounced lum and lice. The whites made no attempt to correct the 
Indian or to improve him in this regard ; sufficient for their purpose was the 
Indian rendering, and they adopted the mispronounced word. The Chinook 
Jargon is still used further north by the traders and employed somewhat by the 
Indian tribes themselves who speak dift'erent langtiages. Occasionally an old 
pioneer can be induced to deliver a few sentences in the jargon at a historical 

To the schoolboy or girl, who is obliged to wrangle with the Latin or the 
Greek, the Chinook Jargon would be welcomed as a capital substitute, for it 
has no conjugations, no inflections, and no highly involved sentences. 

When the pioneers came they found the Indians to be quite fluent with the 
jargon and they, themselves, had to learn it because they had many relationships 
with them. It must not be conceived that the Indians whom the pioneer encoun- 
tered were savage or wholly uncivilized. \'ancouver had met the Indians of the 
Sound in 1792 and from that time until the '50s the whites were in constant con- 
tact with them. About 1809 the Xorthwest Company began to descend from 
Upper Canada into the Columbia River region for the purpose of trade. Fort 
Astoria was erected by John Jacob Astor in 181 1, Fort Vancouver in 1824, Fort 
Langley in 1827, and Fort Nisqually in 1833. Later a post was maintained at 
Victoria, B. C. All this is to show that by the '50s there was not an Indian 
tribe in this region but what had come into contact with the whites. 

This contact acted as a ci\ilizing agency. To Fort Nisqually the Indians 
brought their furs and exchanged them for blankets, capots, cloth, guns and 
sundry articles. In the course of a few years the Indians abandoned their 
tribal modes of dress, became wholly dependent upon the company for many 
articles. When the pioneers came the Indians were glad because they could not, 



get along without the aid of the white man's articles. The pioneer had nothing 
to trade but he was ofttimes obliged to buy fish and dams from the Indians, also 
to hire them as laborers. When Yesler started his sawmill he employed Indians 
to help about the mill carrying away slabs and piling boards. As messengers or 
canocmen the Indians were used. The housewives hired the women to do the 
washings. Later, before the advent of oriental labor, the Indians were used in 
the hopfields. When Dexter Horton opened his store it was not more for the 
purpose of securing the trade of the settlers, than of the Indians, who picked up 
considerable money from the whites, and who wanted to buy clothing, bread and 
other articles which they could not produce themselves, Inil which they could 
not do without. 

The principal reason why it was necessary to make treaties with the Indians 
and to secure their lands was the great fact that the incoming settler coveted 
liiem and was always in great danger if he staked his claim and erected his cabin 
before the Indians had rcccivetl compensation. Legally, the settler had a perfect 
right to enter upon any land in Oregon (which included Washington at this 
time) in the face of apparent Indian ownership, for Congress in 1R50 had passed 
the Oregon Donation Land Law which granted to each settler 320 acres of land. 
The wife, likewise, was allowed a grant of 320 acres. In 1853 and 1854 the 
amount of the grant was reduced but the princi])lc of donation still held goofl. 
The settlers were coming into Oregon and Washington in great numbers each 

The Indian had little use for the land, itself, and he was always glad to have 
a limited number of whites around him to furnish him white man's goods, white 
man's religion and white man's medicine, but as the number of settlers increased 
inevitable friction resulted, and in each case of friction the Indian u.sually 
received the worst of the affair. 

One of the first responsibilities which dc\ol\ed uix)n Governor Isaac Ingalls 
.Stevens was to secure to the Government title to tlie Indian land. One of his 
first acts was to secure the appointment of Indian agents who were to impress upon 
the Indians the necessity for an early and permanent adjustment of this ques- 
tion. CJovernor Stevens was exce[)tionally well (|ualified for this work and his 
judgment was equally reliable for he had in his work on the Pacific railway sur- 
veys come into very close contact with the Indians. No person in all the West 
was better qualified for this task than he. 

Mis policy was to concentrate all the Indians of the Northwest on a few 
reservations where they would cease their wars, relinquish their use of liquor, 
give up their old customs, etc. — in short, become civilized. The lands ceded to 
the Government were to be paid for, not in money which would soon be wasted 
or fall into tiie hands of certain exploiters, but in annuities of blankets, cloth- 
ing and useful articles during a long term of years. Teachers, doctors, and other 
l>rofessional helpers were to lie furnished by the Government at its expense. 

The Legislature was in .session in 1854 and the governor, after delivering his 
message, took rajjid action to perfect his plans and build up his organization for 
the ]) of making treaties with the various grou|)s on both sides of the 
Cascade Mountains. On December 7, 1854, he organized his force of assistants 
consisting of James Doty, secretary ; George Gibbs, surveyor ; 1 1. A. Goldsborough, 
coniniis.sary. and P.. F. .Shaw, interpreter. Cot. M. T. Sinnnoiis had alrcadv 



licLii appointed Indian agent. The governor and his assistants consulted together 
and discussed some of the treaties which had been made with Indian tribes to 
the eastward, notably those with the Missouri and Omaha tribes, and after much 
debate selected those principles and features thought most worthy of adoption. 
By December loth a tentative plan of procedure was drawn up. The schooner 
R. B. Potter, Capt. E. S. Fowler, was chartered at $700 per month, to take the 
party and treaty goods from point to point along the Sound. 

It is not the purpose of this history to go into an extended account of the 
various treaties ; this has been admirably done by Gen. Hazard Stevens, son of 
the governor. The first council was held on She-nah-nam, or Medicine Creek, 
now ofificially known as McAlister Creek, not far from the Nisqually River, on 
December 24-26, 1854. 

The second council was held at Point lilliott or Muckilleo, a little wav 
outh of the present City of Everett, on January 21-23, 1855. The Indians to 
the number of 2,300 had been gathering for over a week prior, and when they 
had assembled in sufficient numbers the governor arrived on the Major Tomp- 
kins, accompanied by Secretary of State Mason and a friend. Dr. C. M. Hitch- 
cock, of San Francisco, a visitor to the territory. The governor had taken into 
consideration in making these treaties the fact that certain of the tribes of the 
.Sound were more closely related in speech and custom than others, and those 
tribes invited to assemble at Point Elliott consisted of all the Indians on both 
sides of Puget Sound from Commencement Bay to the forty-ninth parallel of 
north latitude. There were many tribes and bands (some having unpronounce- 
able names), chief of which were the Duwamish and Suquamish presided over 
by Seattle; the Snohomish led by Pat-ka-nim; the Skagits of which Goliah was 
chief ; and the tribes further north under the leadership of Chow-its-hoot. 

The chiefs took their places around the governor's party; back of them sat 
the sub-chiefs; back of these congregated the other Indians of the various tribes. 
With the exception of the governor the most imjiortant man was Col. Benjamin 
I'ranklin Shaw, interpreter, who was perhaps the best posted man of his day in 
the Chinook Jargon, the only medium of speech by which the governor could 
make his thoughts known to the various tribes assembled. The governor would 
speak a few words in English and Colonel Shaw would then render them into 
the jargon. When all was ready on the 22d the governor arose and addressed 
the Indians as follows: 

"My children, you are not my children because you are the fruit of my loins, 
but because you are children for whom I have the same feeling as if you were 
the fruit of my loins. You are my children for whom I will strenuously labor 
all the days of my life until I shall be taken hence. What will a man do for 
his own children? He will see that they are well cared for; that they have 
clothes to protect them against the cold and rain ; that they have food to guard 
them against hunger : and as for thirst, you have your own glorious streams in 
which to quench it. I want you as my children to be fed and clothed, and made 
comfortable and happy. I find that many of you are Christians, and I saw 
among you yesterday the sign of the cross, which I think the most holy of all 
signs. I address you therefore mainly as Christians, who know that this life is 
a preparation for the life to come. 

"You understand well my purpose, and you want now to know the special 


tliins,'s we to do for you. We want to ])lace you in homes where you can 
cuhi\ate the soil, raising potatoes and other articles of food, and where you 
may he able to pass in canoes oxer liie waters of the Sound and catch fish, and 
back to the mountains to get roots and berries. The Great Father desires this, 
and why am I able to say this? Here are 2,000 men, women and children, who 
have always treated white men well. Did 1 not come through your country one 
year since? Were not many of you now present witnesses of the fact? | .\t this 
point all the Indians said that the governor came.] Did I then make promises to 
you? |.\i this ]Kiint ilic Indians said he did not.| 1 am glad to hear this, because 
1 came through your country, not to make promises, hut to know what you were, 
to know what you wanted, to know your grievances, and to report to the Great 
l-'ather about you. 1 have been to the Great Father and told him your condi- 
tion. Here on this Sound you make journeys of three and four days. ])ut 1 
made a journey of fifty days on your behalf. I told the Great Father I had 
traveled six moons in reaching this country, and had never foumi an Indian 
who would not give me food, raiment, and animals to forward me and mine to 
the great country of the West. I told him that I was among 10,000 Tndians, and 
ihey took me to tiicir lodges and offered me all they had, and here I will pause 
and ask you again if you do not know that 1 have been absent several months on 
this business? |.\t this i)oint all the Indians shouted, 'Yes.'] I went away, 
but 1 left a good and strong man in my place. I call upon Governor Mason to 
speak to you." 

.\cting Governor Mason made a few brief remarks. Then the governor called 
ujjnn M. T. Simmons, perhaps the best known of all the whites among the Indians, 
and a great fa\X)rite. He knew just how to win Indian popularity, and his 
speech was received with great cheers. The Indians were now sufficiently relaxed 
to iiemiit of the go\ernor getting down to business again, and he resumed his 
talk as follows : 

"The (ireat bather thinks you ought to have homes, .-uid lie wants you to have 
a school where your children can learn to read, and can lie made farmers and be 
taught trades. He is willing you should catch fish in the waters, and get roots and 
berries back in the mountains. He wishes you all to be virtuous and industrious, 
and to become a happy and ])rosperous community. Is this good, and do you 
want this? If not. we will t;dk further. |.\t this pnini nil the Indians answered 
that they wanted this.] 

••-My children, I have simi)ly tnid you the heart of the Great Father. I'.ul the 
lands are )X)urs. and we mean to pay you for them. We thank you that you have 
been so kind to all the white children of the Great Father who have come here 
from the East. Those white children have always told you \ou would be p.iid 
for your lands, and we are now here to buy them. 

"The white children of the Great Father, but no more his children than you 
are. have come here, some to build mills, some to till the land, and others to build 
and sail ships. My children, I believe that I have got your hearts, "^'ou have 
my heart. We will put our hearts down on paper, and then we will sign our 
names. 1 will send that paper to the Great Father, and if he says it is good, it 
will stand forever. I will now have the paper read to you, and all I ask of you 
2.000 Indians is that you will say just what you think, and. if you find it good, 
that your chiefs and headmen will sign the same." 


The Indians next sung a mass after the service of the Roman Cathohc 
Church, and recited a prayer. 

The governor then arose and asked to hear what Seattle, and the other chiefs 
had to say, before the reading of the treaty, which was the next order of busi- 
ness. Seattle arose and said : 

"I look upon you as my father. All the Indians have the same good feeling 
toward you, and will send it on the paper to the Great Father. All of them — 
men. old men, women and children — rejoice that he has sent you to take care 
of them. My mind is like yours ; I don't want to say more. My heart is very 
good towards Doctor Maynard: I want always to get medicine from him." 

The governor was well pleased with what Seattle had said, and requested that 
the other Indians, if pleased, make known that fact by giving "three cheers" for 
the chief, which was done. Then the governor called upon Pat-ka-nim, chief of 
the Snohomish. Pat-ka-nim made known his views, thus : 

"Today I understood your heart as soon as you spoke. I understood your 
talk plainly. God made my heart and those of my people good and strong. It is 
good that we should give you our real feelings today. We want everything as 
you have said, the doctor and all. Such is the feeling of all the Indians. Our 
hearts are with the whites. God makes them good towards the Americans." 

Three cheers were then given for I'at-ka-nim. After he had sat down Chow- 
its-hoot of the Skagit trilje was called for and he addressed the assemblage: 

"I do not want to say much. My heart is good. God has made it good 
towards you. I work on the ground, raise potatoes, and build houses. I have 
some houses at home. But 1 will stop building if you wish and will move to 
Cha-chu-sa. Now I have given you my opinion, and that of my friends. Their 
feelings arc all good, and they will do as you say hereafter. My mind is the 
same as Seattle's. I love him, and send my friends to him if they are sick. I 
go to Doctor Maynard at Seattle if I am sick." 

After the cheering had died away and Chow-its-hoot had returned to his 
station, Goliah stepped forward and spoke : 

"My mind is the same as the governor's. God has made it so. I have no 
wish to say much. I am happy at heart. I am happy to hear the governor talk 
of God. My heart is good and that of all my friends. I give it to the governor. 
I shall be glad to have a doctor for the Indians. We are all glad to hear you, 
and to be taken care of by you. I do not want to say more." 

Cheers were then given for the last of the speakers for the Indians, and the 
most important stage of the council business was reached — the reading of the 
treaties. This went forward with unusual success, all the Indians seeming 
to be well pleased with its provisions. The governor then signed the papers, first, 
and the chiefs and headsmen added their signatures. 

It was now growing late and a very important ceremony had not yet been 
held, namely, the giving of presents ; for the Indian never talks business without 
the customary "potlatch." Because of the oncoming darkness the Indians were 
instructed to wait for the morrow. All concerned then retired for the night and 
when the day arrived the presents were doled out to the chiefs to be distributed 
to their peoples. The governor gave them to understand that these presents were 
not intended to be part of the treaty payments but just the "potlatch" and the 
Indians understood and were pleased. As a finale, Seattle came forward and 




presented a white flag to the governor, the emblem of peace, accompanied with 
the following toast : 

"Now, by this we make friends, and put away all bad feelings, if we ever 
had any. \\'e are the friends of the .Americans. All the Indians are of the same 
mind. We look upon you as our father. We will never change our minds, but, 
since you have been to see us, we will always be the same. Now ! now ! do you 
send this paper of our hearts to the Great Chief. That is all I have to say." 

The Indians then departed for their separate abodes to remain until the treaty 
had been ratified by the Great Father (which is the President and the Senate) 
and preparations made to remove them to the reservation grounds. 

The territory ceded by this treaty was very great extending from the summit 
of the Cascades on the east as far north as the forty-ninth parallel and on the 
south as far as the Puyallup River and the watershed on the west side of the 
Sound. To the Indians were given reservation lands- — 1,280 acres at Port 
Madison, 1,280 acres on the east side of Fidalgo Island, and the island called 
Chah-chu-sa in the Lummi River. The principal reservation was that at Tulalip 
Bay which embraced an entire township. Payments w'ere to be made as follows : 
$150,000 in annuities in goods, etc., for twenty years, and $15,000 for improve- 
ments on the reservation were provided. The Indians had several rights reserved 
to them such as the right to fish, and to hunt on vacant land. 

J. Ross Browne, under appointment from the United States Treasury Depart- 
ment, made an official visit to the Sound country in November, 1857. Under 
the nom de plume of "Porte Crayon" he had become well known to the reading 
public of the United States through Harper's Magazine and other publications. 

He was detailed to visit Oregon and Washington and examine into and 
report upon the causes of the Indian war. 

lie left San Francisco August 15, 1857. coming by steamer to Astoria and uj) 
the Columbia River to Rainier, and from the mouth of the Cowlitz overland to 
-' )lympia on the worst road known to civilization. 

About everj'thing that had been published in the newspapers of the East and 
in official reports by army officers regarding the Indian war had been unfriendly 
to the officers and people of the Pacific Northwest ; therefore the gratification 
with which his findings were received by our people may well be imagined. 
Several naragraphs from it will be read with interest : 

"Accompanied by Capt. C. J. Sprague, he left San Francisco on the 15th of 
August, and on the 19th arrived at Rainier, on the Columbia River. There 
tiie first news was received of the murder of I. N. Ebey by Northern Indians, 
at his residence on Whidby's Island. Great alarm prevailed on the shores of 
Puget Sound, and the families of the settlers were seeking safety in flight. The 
alarm had spread to the Cowlitz Landing and fears were entertained there, from 
certain movements of the Upper Cowlitz Indians, that the ^'akimas and Klickitats 
were about to break. 

"On the road from Cowlitz Landing to OlymjMa, the most depressing evidences 
arc found at every step of the disastrous effects of the war. Houses are aban- 
doned and falling into ruin, fine farms are lying waste, fences are broken down, 
and those of the settlers who still remain have in most cases fortified themselves 
with pickets and blockhouses. This has taken place, too, in a part of the coun- 
tr)- somewhat remote from the actual scene of warfare." 


During the trip to Port Madison, Mr. Browne and friend visited many inter- 
esting islands and points on the Sound, and saw the various tribes engaged in 
catching and curing their fish. 

"At Port Townsend there were but lOO Indians of the Claim. There are 
1,100 in all, at that point and Dungeness, when gathered in. The agent intro- 
duced the party to the Great Chief, the 'Duke of York.' who lives with his wives 
'Queen Mctoria' and 'Jenny Lind' in a wigwam on the beach. The duke was 
very drunk, and so were Jenny Lind and Queen Mctoria — so much so, indeed, as 
to be incapable of holding a wa-wa. Another \isit was made several days after, 
and the whole family were drunk. 

"The vices of intoxication are rapidly taking off the Sound Indians. In the 
cruise around the shores, whisky boats could be seen at every point ; but there 
seems to be no legal process by which the venders can be punished, unless caught 
in the act, and then no jury will convict the offenders. Repeated efforts have 
been made to enforce the laws, but without effect. 

"A picket fort, under the command of Colonel Pickett, has been built at a dis- 
tance of five miles from Whatkum, the Town of Bellingham Bay. The same In- 
dians inspected this fort, and notified Colonel Pickett that they would take his 
head as a trophy, which they much desired. Colonel Pickett found means to 
send them word that he would be happy to deliver to them any amount of grape 
and canister but that his headpiece was an indispensable appendage, with which 
it would be very inconvenient for him to part. 

"Returning to Port Townsend, after visiting the Island of Guyemas and other 
points of interest, the next step was to investigate the condition of affairs on 
Wliidby's Island. Crossing over in a boat, the party examined the house of 
Colonel Ebey, which they found deserted, and in great disorder, being thor- 
oughly ransacked by the Indians. The marshal, Mr. Corliss, has published an 
accurate statement of the murder: 'A canoe with nine Indians came to the land-- 
ing on the preceding day, and were ordered off. They returned that night, and, 
aided by the darkness, surrounded the house. Aroused by the barking of his 
dog. Colonel Ebey stepped out, and seeing the Indians, urged them to go away. 
He had no arms about him or in the house. They fired upon him and wounded 
him — and afterwards, upon a second fire killed him, when they sprang upon 
his prostrate body and cut his head off', as if with a knife. His wife, two chil- 
dren, Mr. and Mrs. Corliss, escaped out of the back window and fled into the 
woods. Before they could procure assistance the Indians made their escape, 
taking with them their bloody trophy. This murder is the more remarkable, as 
Colonel Ebey had always treated the Northern Indians with the greatest hospital- 
ity. It is supposed to have been induced by the killing of a party of the same 
tribe some time ago by the Massachusetts. The Indians are never known to 
forget an injury, and they have proclaimed their intention of having the head 
of a white Tyee for every man of their tribe killed by the whites. When the 
news reached Port Townsend, seventeen of the Northern Indians of a dift'erent 
tribe were taken and imprisoned in the blockhouse, from which, however, they 
made their escape, by the connivance of the guard. Some of them were after- 
wards killed by a party of Colonel Fitzhugh"s Indians.' 

"No steps have yet been taken by the military authorities to capture and punish 
the murderers; and, as they live in Russian possessions, it is not likely that they 


will be molested. The arrival of the steamer Constitution about this time gave 
some conlidence to the settlers ; but that vessel is too large, slow and unwieldy 
for purposes of Indian warfare. It is not thought that she will run more than 
six months, there being neither trade nor tra\ el enough to support her, even with 
the aid of a mail contract. 

"Returned to Port Townsend and took steamer Constitution to Seattle — thence 
to Steilacoom and Olympia. Crossed from Olympia in a canoe to the Squaxon 
Reservation, twelve miles distant on Klatchemin Island, at the entrance of 
P.udd's Inlet. Several Indian houses have been erected here, but no Indians are 
living in them at present. A small patch of ground has been cultivated, and a 
blacksmith shop and school established, under the treaty of Medicine Creek. No 
progress has been made in educating the children, it being im]X)ssible to enforce 
attendance ; and apart from this, where presents have been made to induce the 
children to attend, they unlearn by night w'hat they learn by day. To carrv out 
a school system with the Indians, they must be wholly separated from their 
parents and families; otherwise it is a farce to attempt lo teacii them ihe arts of 

"So long as the Indians are fed and clothed at the Government, and 
paid for working for themselves, they will no doubt remain quiet ; but no ultimate 
benetit can result from the reservation system, unless the young Indians are 
taken away and trained up under better influences than any they are surrounded 
by at these places. 

"Having visited all the tribes on the Sound, and thoroughly investigated the 
accounts of the agents, and inquired from every source into the origin and causes 
of the war. the conclusion was irresistible that the treaties ought to be ratified; 
that another war may break out at any time if something is not sjjcedilv done to 
concentrate and pacify the Indians. 

"It is grossly unjust to charge the people of Washington Territory with having 
commenced a war of plunder against the public treasury. This war was forced 
upon them, and had long been designed by the Klickitats, Yakimas. and Walla 
Wallas before the treaties made by Governor Stevens. 

"The countr>' is now waste and desolate and has lost a valuable part of its 
population. The war debt, as allowed by the commissioners at A'ancouver, 
mrounts to about a million and a half which will not pay anything towards the 
damage done to property, and the almost total destruction of all the business inter- 
ests of the territory. 

"The chief causes of the war, which formed the principal subject for Mr. 
P.'s investigations, may be summed up in a few words: Previous to Tune, 1850, 
no steps had been taken to extinguish the Indian title to the Territory of Oregon. 
Congress then authorized the a])i)ointment of a commission to treat with the 
tribes west of the Cascades. The Donation .\ct of September 27, 1850. followed 
this, and took effect long before a single treaty had been made. The comnnssion 
made certain treaties at Shampoeg, but gave the Indians some of the best lands 
in the Willamette \'alley. The settlers protested and the treaties were never 
ratified. .\t this time, the Klickitats had conquered all the inferior tribes of the 
Willamette X'alley. and held a sort of possessory right as far south as the Cala- 
pooyah Mountains. They were driven north of the Columbia, and no recom- 
pense made them for the deprivation of the rights which they had acquired by 


conquest. They united with the Yakimas, who were equally disaffected, and 
finally spread the war feeling among the Sound Indians, the Cayuses, and Walla 
Wallas — all of whom were more or less apprehensive of being overcome by the 

"Leschi, the famous Nisqually chief, made speeches throughout the country, 
among the various tribes, and went as far south as Rogue River, to gain adherents. 
He it was who invented the terrible story of the Polakly Illehe, or the Land of 
Darkness — a fearful place where he said the white men were going to send all 
the Indians ; where the sun never shone, and where the mosquitoes were so 
big that a single bite would kill the strongest man. 

"Great injustice has been done the people of Oregon and Washington in the 
reports of the military made through the war department. Whatever miscon- 
duct there may have been in individual cases, the great mass of the people were 
driven to war for their self protection; and it is greatly to be regretted that they 
were not sustained by the chief of the military forces. 

"The war debt is a just debt, if ever there was one ; the commissioners have 
faithfully performed their duty; and it is to be hoped that the next Congress by 
its prompt action, will rectify the errors of public policy which have resulted 
so disastrously, and make such liberal appropriations as may be necessary to 
liquidate a just debt, and prevent a recurrence taf the great evils which have 
prostrated these remote territories." 

The record of the United States Government in all its negotiations and 
treaties with the Indians within its borders has been disgraceful. It has been 
characterized by deceit, fraud and treacher}'. Broken promises on the part of 
the Government, and lying, stealing and all manner of corruption on the part of the 
agents appointed to deal with and superintend affairs between the Indians and 
the several departments of the Government have been the rule and not the excep- 
tion. This was true while the Indian service was managed by civilians and 
equally true while the military were in control. Not until the several great 
church bodies secured a semblance of authority in dealing with the natives and 
were given the power to nominate the agents and employes on the several reserva- 
tions was there more than a pretense of honest and fair treatment of the wards 
of the Government. 

It is true that the influence of the early missionaries in Christianizing the 
Indians was practically a failure. There were no Christian Indians in pioneer days. 
If there are any now within the confines of Washington, it is not generally known. 
That the early missionaries and later religious teachers and representatives of 
the churches have done much toward civilizing the natives and bettering their 
social life and moral condition is cheerfully admitted here ; also that after the 
Indian reservations were placed in nominal charge of agents selected by the 
several churches, the Indians generally received kindly and honest treatment, is 
tnie. This is one of the few bright spots in a century or two of national dis- 
honor in the administration of Indian affairs. 

The foregoing declaration is the result of experience and personal observa- 
tion during more than sixty years residence in Old Oregon and Washington. 

The treatv concluded between Great Britain and the United States in 1846 
left the latter in full control of the Oregon country. From that time inducements 
were held out to American settlers to leave the comforts and safety of homes in 


the eastern states, journey for six months through an inhospitable region sur- 
rounded at every step by savage enemies, and then, if they reached their destination 
in safety, they were compelled to settle upon lands that .the beneficent paternal 
Government still recognized as Indian territory. In 1850 Congress passed the 
Donation Act, but it was several years later before any steps were taken to 
extinguish the Indian title to the lands given to settlers under the provisions of 
that act. 

Xot until 1854-5 were treaties made with the Indians and payments promised 
them for the lands then released and thrown open to white settlement. Eight 
treaties affecting lands in Washington were made, two of which also affected lands 
in Oregon. By them more than fifty-two million acres were released and less 
than six million reserved. In 1858 only one of these, the Medicine Creek treaty, 
had been confirmed by Congress. 

In Alay of that year Colonel Simmons, who had been continued Indian agent 
for the Puget Sound District, visited all the reservations in his charge, with the 
purpose of assembling the Indians and listening to their grievances. He chartered 
a small vessel and took with him a quantity of goods for presents. The editor 
of the Pioneer and Democrat accepted an invitation to accompany the party and 
made notes of the several "talks" that took place between the agent and the chief 
men of the different tribes. From his published account of the expedition, the 
following selections are made: 

"On leaving Olympia, May 15th, our first visit was made to Fort Kitsap loca- 
tion, the station of Local Agent G. A. Page, where were congregated about four 
Inmdred of the natives, including their principal chiefs. Colonel Simmons 
addressed them in Chinook, in a short but very appreciative speech, telling them 
that he had not forgotten them; that they must not be discouraged or become 
melancholy because their treaties had not been concluded ; that our delegate to 
Congress had written to him that he hoped, and believed, that they would be rati- 
fied ere long. Having admonished them about drinking liquor, and various other 
matters, he signified that he was ready to hear anything they had to say, when 
Seattle, a venerable chief and fast friend of the whites, arose and spoke as follows : 

" T want you to understand what I say. I do not drink rum, neither does 
Now-e-ches (another chief) and we constantly advise our people not to do so. 
1 am not a bad man. I am, and always have been, a friend. I listened to what 
Mr. Page says to me, and I do not steal — nor do I or any of my people kill the 
whites. Oh! Mr. Simmons! Why don't our papers come back to us? You 
always say you hope they will soon come back — but they do not. I fear we are 
forgotten, or that we are cheated out of our lands. I have been very poor and 
hungrv' all winter, and am very sick now. In a little while I will die. I should 
like to be paid for my land before I die. Many of my people died during the cold, 
scarce winter without getting their pay. When I die, my people will be very 
poor — they will have no property, no chief, and no one to talk for them. You 
must not forget them, Mr. Simmons, when I am gone. We are ashamed when 
• we think that the Puyallups (a party to the treaty of Medicine Creek) have their 
papers. They fought against the whites, whilst we who have never been angry 
with them, got nothing. When we get our pay we want it in money. Tlie Indians 
are not bad, it is the mean white people that are bad to us. If any person writes 
that we do not want our papers concluded, they lie. Oh! Mr. Simmons! You 


see I am very sick. I want you to write quickly to your Great Chief what I say. 
I have done.' 

"Seattle and the Indians here assembled were of the Duwamish and other 
tribes, parties to the treaty of 'Point Elliott." Upon the evening of the same day 
(Alay i6th) we arrived at Skaget Head, a location under the supervision of Capt. 
R. C. Fay, and an assistant. Here some eight hundred Indians were assembled of 
the Skagets, Snohomishes, Snoqualmies. etc., parties also to the treaty of 'Point 
Elliott.' In a few words, Colonel Simmons told them the object of his visit — the 
nature of the presents he had brought them — for whom they were designed, etc. 
After giving them some healthy admonishes in the excessive use of liquor, he 
expressed a wish to hear from them ; in answer to which, 'Hetty Kanin,' a sub- 
chief of the Snoqualmies, spoke as follows : 

" 'I am but a sub-chief, but I am chosen by my people to speak for them 
today. I will speak what I think, and I want any of the drinking Indians that 
hear me today, contradict me if they can. Liquor is killing our people off fast. 
Our young men spend their money that they work for for liquor: then they get 
crazy and kill each other, and sometimes kill their wives and children, ^^'e old 
men do not drink, and we beg our boys not to trade with the "Kultus Boston" 
that sell it. We have all agreed to tell our agent when any liquor boats are about, 
and to help him arrest the men that sell it. I will now talk about our treaties : 
when is the Great Father that lives across the far mountain going to send us our 
papers back? Four summers have now passed since you and Governor Stevens 
told us we would get pay for our land, ^\'e remember well what you said to us 
then over there (pointing to "Point Elliott"), and our hearts are very sick because 
you did not do as you promised. We saw the Nisquallys and Puyallups get their 
annuity paid them last year, and our hearts were sick because we could get 
nothing. We ne\er fought the whites — they did. If you whites pay the Indians 
that fight you, it must be good to fight. We consider it good to have good white 
people amongst us ; our young women can gather berries and clams and our voung 
men can fish and hunt, and sell what they get to the whites. We are willing that 
the whites shall take the timber, but we want the game and fish — and we want 
our reserA'es where there is plenty of deer and fish, and good land for potatoes. 
We want our Great Father to know what our hearts are, and we want you to 
send our talk to him at once. I have done.' 

"'Hiram,' a Snoqualmie, then spoke: 

"'We want our treaty to be concluded as soon as possiljle; we are tired of 
waiting. Our reasons are that our old people, and there are many of them, are 
dying. Look at those two old men and women, they have only a little while to 
live and they want to get their pay for their land. The white people have taken 
it — and you, Air. Simmons, promised us that we should be paid — you and Gov- 
ernor Stevens. Suspense is killing us. We are afraid to plant potatoes on the 
river bottoms lest some bad white man should come and make us leave the place. 
You know what we are, Mr. Simmons. You were the first American we ever 
knew, and our children remember you as long as they remember anything. I 
was btit a boy when I first knew you. You know we do not want to drink liquor 
but we cannot help it when the bad "Bostons" bring it to us. When our treaty 
was made, we told our hearts to you and Governor Stevens. They have not 
changed since. I have done.' 


■"Bonaparte,' a Snohomish chief, then spoke as follows: 

" "What I have to say is not of much consequence. My children have all 
been killed by rum, and I am very poor. I believe what Mr. Simmons tells us 
about our treaty, but most of the Indians think he lies. My heart is not asleep. 
1 have known .Mr. Simmons a long time, and he never lied to me, and I think he 
will tell the Great Father how much we want bur pay. I have done.' 

"The Lummies, Claims. Makahs, etc., parties to the treaties of 'Point No 
I'oint' and "Xeah Bay" were then visited. At Bellingham Bay, New Dungeness 
and Neah Bay, or 'VVaddah,' but as the speeches of all the Indians at those dif- 
ferent places were the same in substance as those already given — that is, they all 
urged the ratification of their treaties in the most earnest terms, we do not con- 
sider it necessar)' to further extend this article l)y giving place to them. We 
would observe, however, for the information of those not accustomed to deal 
with Indian character, that these same Indians that deplore drinking so much in 
their speeches, and lay all the blame on the whites (who undoubtedly deserve 
all they got) will get drunk and lay all kinds of plans to get liquor. The old 
man 'Seattle' is an exception. 

".After reading the foregoing, we think that all well disposed and thinking 
peoijle will all agree with us that humanity as well as justice makes it the 
imperative duty of the Government to adopt some plan by which the Intlians 
can be separated from the whites — allotted to their reservations, and provided 
for as contemplated in the treaties with them. In witnessing, year after year, 
the encroachments of the 'paleface' upon their hunting and fishing grounds when 
they could at any time, with all ease, have crushed out our infant settlements, 
has given evidence of extraordinary forbearance on their part, and we think 
their kindness and consideration should be remembered in return. Now that 
we have the power, and particularly our duty is so plainly pointed out to us 
by their deplorable situation, we think the speediest, best, and only way of 
settling all their difficulties is the ratification of the treaties. The agents will 
then have the means in their hands of supplying all that we now think is want- 
ing to govern these unhajjjjy creatures, and to lay the groundwork of civilization 
for their children to improve upon. 

".Xotwithstanding we have spun out this article much beyond our intended 
limits yet we cannot close without bearing witness to the extraordinary influence 
and control exercised by Colonel Simmons over the various Indian tribes and in 
his district. Everywhere, during our excursion, he was received with marked 
respect and treated with the utmost consideration. His manner towards them 
forbids an approach of vulgar familiarity; and whilst he impresses upon them 
the fact that they would do well to regard his counsel, he at once commands 
their respect and confidence, whilst at the same time, they are impressed with 
a healthy amount of fear. His manner of addressing them is free, bold, dignified, 
and peculiarly indicative of sincerity. His delivery is excellent, and he is never 
at a loss for words. His manner of settling local difficulties amongst them is 
prompt and impressive, and whilst in his presence at least, his word is regarded 
as law, from which no appeal is desired. We regard Colonel Simmons as a 
natural personification of an Indian agent, and do not know the man that could 
advantageously supply his place. These remarks are equally applicable to Judge 
S. S. Ford. Sr., special agent for the Chehalis tribe." 


In^ the early '60s the Indians about Seattle had lost all semblance of tribal 
influence and led a precarious, happy-go-lucky existence ; the best of what was 
Indian in them had vanished, while much of the bad of the whites had become 
incorporated in them. Most of the newcomers at once conceived a profound 
contempt for them. 

The beach along the water front from Columbia Street to Aladison Street 
was usually lined with their shacks until they were finally driven away by the 
advancing tide of business enterprises. Gambling was their chief besetting vice 
and for days at a time the racket of their board drums and monotonous chanting 
of the players made the nights hideous. Several styles of play were in vogue, 
generally some form of odd or even, but the most popular was early known as 

The "sing-gamble," as the favorite amusement of the early Indian sporting 
men was known among the whites, was of quite ancient origin, far back beyond 
the memories of the oldest Indian inhabitants. The bark of a dead cedar was 
stripped off and from this the inner fiber removed. This was then rubbed or 
twisted until as fine as oakiun or tow. Of this enough to fill a large bedtick was 
prepared. A collection of dry cedar boughs or knots was secured. From these 
disks about one-eighth of an inch thick and about two inches in diameter were 
sawed. The edges were nicely rounded and then a beautiful polish put on the 
disks. Next came the sticks, or counters. These also were of cedar, about four 
inches long, half an inch wide, and half rounded, so that placed in a row they 
looked like a section of a wooden washboard. Sixty-six of these were made, 
that being the number of points the winner had to secure for game. The gambling 
paraphernalia also included a woven Indian grass mat 5 feet wide by 10 feet 

Not often was it a contest between individuals, but usually of inter-tribal 
magnificence. After due consideration among the members of a tribe, the chief 
or head man would send a challenge to some other tribe. If accepted, and tribal 
honor rarely permitted a refusal, final preparations for the event were consum- 
mated. All the canoes, horses, arms, money, and individual belongings were 
pooled and placed at the disposal of the chief. 

One of the latest and most notable of these gatherings was at Renton in 1894. 
Chief William, of the Cedar River tribe, sent a challenge to Seatcum, the oldest 
brave of the Puyallups. In a few days couriers arrived carrying the acceptance 
of the latter. Two hundred Puyalhips, including women and children, and a 
goodly retinue of dogs, followed in due time. Sixteen wagons, several buggies, 
;md a cavalcade of horsemen presented an imposing array. All their portable 
possessions were brought along. 

A shack or tepee of goodly size had been specially prepared for the occasion, 
made of sacks, driftwood and old lumber. Preparations made, torn toms ready, 
all the belongings of both sides were placed under the control of the referee. In 
the event the Puyallups lost they would have to walk home ; if the Renton party 
were the losers, they would have no home left to receive them. 

In a short time the cabin became filled with smoke and seeing or breathing 
became difficult. This went unnoticed. They presented a truly uncanny sight — 
painted, decked out with wild holly, cedar bark and red and white berries. That 


was about all they did have on, for the principal part of their attire had been 
wagered and staked in the prize pile in an adjoining room. 

The opposing leaders sat at each end of the long mat. At a given signal the 
Renton braves began sounding their torn toms and all their crowd set up a wild 
chant. Doctor Jack was chosen to start the game for them. When he began to 
handle the cedar chips and fleecy bark he let out a yell that could be heard a mile ; 
then all his adherents took up the cry and chanted it over and over again, keeping 
time with the torn toms and moving their bodies to and fro and waving their 
hands in unison. Doctor Jack also kept time in all his movements. He seized a 
double handful of bark pulp and placed it before him and then counted out 
eight white chips and one black one, nine in all. These he clicked in his hands 
a few times and covered them over with the pulp. Then, placing four chips in 
one hand and five in the other, he wrapped them in pulp and proceeded to shuflle 
the two balls thus made in front of him with a dexterity scarcely credible. Though 
the movement was changed frequently and kept up with remarkable quickness, the 
Puyallups watched and waited ; not a movement of the dealer escaped them. 
In one of the balls of pulp was the black chip and this was the one they wanted 
to keep their eyes on, for if they were able to pick it out they could score a point. 
Suddenly one Puyallup brave waved his hand and Doctor Jack ceased moving 
the balls; the music stopped. The ball of pulp designated by the Puyallup brave 
was opened by Doctor Jack, who, by a clever manipulation of the wrist and 
fingers, sent the hidden chips rolling down the mat before him. The black chip 
was in the ball, and the Puyallups had won the first point in the great game. The 
Cedar and Black Rivers were now quiet, but the Puyallups gave vent to a yell 
that was simply appalling. It was now Johnny Wrinkles' deal, and when he 
began manipulating the chips and pulp his retinue started their chant. The noise 
of their tom tOms was somewhat livelier than that ot tlie other tribes. First 
victory inclined on one side and then on the other, and after ten points had been 
won, five by each side, lo and behold! Old Seatcum, the scorer, had not a sign 
of a count. A great clamor was raised by the young bucks when this discovery 
was made, but the older braves pacified the excited ones by declaring that Seatcum 
was not asleep ; that he was counting properly. It was then explained that should 
one side win one or more sticks the other side could not score until it had won 
them back. The tribe to win must score the whole sixty-six sticks. 

The contest began Monday night and was continued without intermission 
imtil the following Saturday morning, five nights and four days, and ended in a 
draw. .\t one time the Puyallups had fifty-three sticks and their opponents only 
thirteen, but a few hours later the latter had regained all but eighteeti of the 
precious markers. During the whole contest the Puyallups were in the lead but 
could never make the coveted sixty-six. After iro hours of play the game was 
a tie and by mutual consent was called off. 

The potlatch was a part of the regular program or entertainment. It was a 
ceremony to which invitations were issued the same as any social event. Personal 
property and also money was given away. By giving away his property the host 
hoped also to attain a reputation for liberality and to increase his chance of one 
day becoming a chief. The distribution took place in true Christmas style. The 
blankets and goods to be given away were stacked in a heap near the firci)lacc, 
just opposite the door. The host held up the present and called the guest's name 


who was to receive it, and an attendant stood ready to deliver it. Each guest was 
remembered according to his own distribution in the past, or those which he 
was expected to make in the future. It was one man"s duty to tear the rolls of 
calico, muslin, flannel or whatever cloth it might be, into strips about a yard in 
length. In early days it was the custom to also tear the blankets into like strips, 
but the whites persuaded them to abandon this wasteful practice, so in time they 
were only cut apart into single blankets. 

As late as 1850 the attire of the natives, even in winter, was little more than 
stark nakedness. By i860 it had become a modified form of the white man's 
costume. The males were not so particular, their chief garb being trousers, shirt 
and shoes, and sometimes a hat. Many of the older and more conservative of 
the males still wore only breech clouts and blankets. This was Chief Seattle's 
favorite garb to the last. The women were more particular and usually went 
about clothed in white woman's attire. 

Much has been written of the beauty of the Indian race, especially of the 
maidens. Of course the young were more comely than their elders, but what 
little beauty they possessed soon faded. The young women might have retained 
their good looks much longer were it not for the prevailing custom of early mar- 
riages which forced motherhood upon girls at ages of twelve to fifteen. 

The custom of flattening the heads of the infants was practiced quite generally 
for many years after the advent of the white settlers, but gradually went into 

Sanitation among them was practically unknown and disease and filth pre- 
vailed everywhere they made their habitations. Most of the pioneers remember 
the ceremonies attendant upon the making of their doctors ; also the noises the 
latter and their assistants made when treating a patient. 

Their sweathouses ornamented the beach just west of First Avenue on the 
beach above ordinary high tides, prior to the grading of that street. They were 
used somewhat in times of health, but for the treatment of diseases they were 
considered a sovereign remedy. They resembled in form the usual potato house 
on the farm. A hole was dug in the sand about a foot deep ; around this a wall 
of cobble stones was put up about two feet high. This was covered with slabs 
or wreckage from the beach. In this was left a small opening toward the water 
for a door. Nearby, in a hot fire, a lot of cobble stones the size of a dinner 
pail were made redhot. When all was ready the heated stones were moved into 
the house and drenched with water. On them were spread a layer of green 
branches and these again watered. Clouds of steam accumulated. While it was 
almost scalding hot the bather went in and closed the door. Naturally a profuse 
perspiration followed. The sweating process was continued as long as the occu- 
pant of the hut could endure it, then a rush made for the waters of the bay and 
a plunge into them. 

This custom was pursued, winter and summer. In case of minor ailments 
no serious results might follow, but when smallpox and measles became epidemic 
in the Columbia River valleys and on Puget Sound the mortality was frightful. 
Explanations and remonstrances by the whites were of no avail and went 
unheeded. The time soon came when there were not enough living to bury their 
dead. The few survivors abandoned their camps, with their dead, and went 



>— • 







Notwithstanding the abuses that accompanied the reservation system for many 
years, no doubt it did much to preserve the remnants of the tribes from extinc- 
tion. White man's habits never took kindly to the Indian and it was far better 
for the latter that he should be removed as much as possible from the demoraliza- 
tion attendant upon intercourse between the two races. 

686712 A 


Many notable American writers, in poetry and prose, have recorded the 
activities tDf the conventional stage coach of the Great \\'est and the char- 
acteristics and social amenities of its driver. Today no wild west show is 
thought complete without the old-time lumbering vehicle with its leather springs 
and driver's seat, perched high in front over the boot, and with from four to 
six spirited horses attached. The part played by these ships of the plains in 
the development of the states west of the Mississippi River has been perpetu- 
ated in fiction and in history. 

On Puget Sound, with the exception of Olympia and Steilacoom, both of 
which were from the first accessible by good roads, the canoe, the sail boat 
and the small steamer took the place of the stage coach. In early days Seattle 
was practically without roads and outlying points in the county were difficult of 
access except on foot or on horseback. For this reason more space may be 
properly given to the history of Seattle's Mosquito Fleet than would be other- 
wise admissible. 

The mails of the Pacific Coast came from New York by ocean steamer to 
San Francisco, and from San Francisco to Portland and Puget Sound by sim- 
ilar craft ; while all along the Sound from Olympia to Victoria and to Belling- 
ham and intermediate ports, all sorts of water craft delivered the mails and 
transported passengers and distributed to the settlers all the necessaries of life 
not produced in the forest or on the little patches of ground that had been 
laboriously reclaimed from it. 

The arrival of the steamer, for a long time only once a week, each way, vv^as 
a notable event and nearly all the men who could spare the time were on the 
dock when her lines were made fast. In Seattle, Monday was market day for 
the nearby farmers as the mail steamer bringing letters and weekly papers giv- 
ing intelligence from the outside world arrived from Olympia sometime in the 
middle of the afternoon. It did not then require a large motor-driven truck to 
transport the mailsacks from the boat to the postofifice. For years there were 
but one small locked pouch and one sack of newspapers that any able bodied 
man could carry on his shoulders. 

Seattle's matchless harbor may be said to have produced its own business ; 
its location made it impossible for any other city on the Sound in the days 
before the railway to wrest from it its supremacy in the local trade, and it was 
from this trade that Seattle derived its first nourishment. When one looks back 
with the wisdom lent him by safe contemplation of an accomplished fact, it is 
hard -to realize why the obvious advantage of Seattle's location over other local- 
ities was not taken advantage of by the men who chose Tacoma as the terminus 
for the Northern Pacific and to those others who pinned their faith to the 




ultimate im])ortance of other Puget Sound points. It is quite certain that 
Seattle's natural advantage was apparent to some but they wanted to enrich 
themselves from dishonest profits on terminus town lots. The only farms of 
the district in those days were along the hanks of the rivers, and on a few of 
the islands. On the Duwamish, the Snohomish, the Skagit, the LaConner Flats, 
then and now the richest farming lands in all America, and on W hidhy Island 
were farmers whose trade was a great asset to the settlement that received it. 
The mills of Kitsap County and the scores of logging camps were the chief 
source of business until comparatively recent years. To reach these localities 
from any point on the Sound other than Seattle, Seattle had to he passed. Com- 
merce will not deliberately flow past an open door and .Se;ittle held her portals 
wide. The mosquito fleet in those early days spread o\ cr all the Sound and laid 
their cargoes on Seattle's water front. Today flags of all the nations that send 
men down to the sea to take and fetch the products of the world fly from masts 
in Seattle's harbor. 

The whole country alx)ut Seattle was a dense forest in the beginning to which 
the hardy woodsmen from New England, Michigan and Minnesota flocked with 
their axes. They had the enterprise which coined the forest into money. Cut 
off through lack of railroads from the market in the eastern states they sought 
outlet for their product in foreign lands and from Puget Sound sailed "wind- 
jammers" to all parts of the world where the straight spars and magnificent lum- 
ber that .Seattle and the surrounding country had in abundance found a ready 

Vessels began to navigate the Sound (|uite extensively as early as 1850 but 
the first export business of Seattle was a cargo of piles for the brig Leonesa. 
The cargo was completed in the winter of 1851-52 with the aid of a yoke of 
oxen driven along the beach from ruyallup. At about the same linic the ship 
G. W. Kendall was sent from .San h'rancisco to Puget Sound for ice. But in 
the hope of getting a cargo of this luxury the master was disappointed. lie 
reported that the Puget Sound w.iters did not freeze and consoled the owners 
of the ship by returning with a valuable cargo of piles from Seattle. 

These first shi])menls consisted chiefly of squared timbers, piles, ships' knees, 
and later after Henry L. Yesler had Imilt the first steam sawmill near the pres- 
ent site of Pioneer Place, sawn timbers and lumber. 

Port lllakeley. Port Orchard and Port Madison :dl buill large vessels in the 
early days. These points across the Sound were like suburbs of Seattle, for 
all of them did their shopping and marketing here. Like the street cars of 
today, which bundle the suburbanites oft to the city markets every .Saturdav 
evening and return tluni to tiieir homes in the outlying districts. loaded down 
with provisions for the week, the water craft of pioneer days were the public 
service vehicles, which brought the shojjpers to the Seattle market. 

The vessels of Seattle's early mosquito fleet were the miniature mail order 
houses which sujiplied the settlers with their conveniences and small luxuries. 
Their masters were the friends of the village i)eople. They carried with them 
a store of jiithy yarns, a large fund of the latest gossip and a good word for 
old and young. When their vessels arri\ed in port the townsfolk were at the 
wharf to give them a hearty greeting and learn of the last events along the 
SotuuI. If grandmother wanted a skein of yarn or if the village belle needed 


a yard of blue ribbon to match, the captain knew exactly where the articles were 
to be had, and when his ship came in on the return voyage it brought a store of 
good will to everyone. 

From these small beginnings developed the great freight trade which has 
established Seattle as the center of commerce in the Northwest today. 

San Francisco's sudden growth after the gold discovery in California sent 
vessels to Puget Sound for timbers. Cargoes of timber squared for sills, plates, 
bridge timbers, etc., left Elliott Bay each summer before the Indian uprising of 


Among the early vessels which carried the cargoes prepared for them by the 
axes of Seattle's pioneers were the American brigs George Emery, Orbit, G. W. 
Kendall, Leonesa, John Davis, b'ranklin .\dams, Daniel, Jane, Eagle : American 
schooners. Exact, Damariscove, Franklin, Susan Sturgis, Mary Taylor, Cynosure, 
Mexican, Cecil ; British vessels, Mary Dare, Alice, Honolulu Packet ; American 
bark Brontes. Later came the ship John Brewer from London, ship Persia from 
San Francisco, schooner Northern Light, brig Sophia, brig James Marshall and 
the bark Alabama. 

On account of the large shipments to San Francisco late in 1853, Seattle's 
lumber trade began to assume definite proportions. Capt. A. B. Gove, master of 
the ship Potomac, arranged with the owners of the vessel in San Francisco to 
have it visit the ports of Puget Sound regularly instead of periodically as it 
had been doing before. Early in 1853 the schooners Mary, Rover, Whatcom, 
William Allen, the ship Tuskina, several barks and the British iron schooner Alice 
were doing an active business on the Sound. 

The same year saw the departure of the bark Louisiana, Alfred Drew master, 
the first vessel to leave for China with a cargo of ship spars. The bark Mary 
Adams, Captain Harding, soon followed her lead with Singapore as her destina- 

By 1854 there were four regular lines operating on the Sound, and touching 
at Seattle. 

P. B. Barstow & Company's line of packets operated the brig Kingsbury, the 
clipper bark Mary Melville. The Seward line of packets ran the ship .Sarali 
Parker, the brig Merchantman and the schooner Willimantic; Merritt and Gove 
operated the Live Yankee, Yankee Doodle and Yanky Nation; and the firm of 
Kendall & Company owned and operated several ships. 

Among the vessels on the Sound in the fall of 1854 were the following: 
Steamer Major Tompkins, Hunt, master; brig Cyclops, McDonald, master; 
steamer Active, Alden, master; Harriet Thompson, Birdslee, master; bark Success, 
Coupe, master; bark Julia Ann, Pound, master; brig Consort, Wash, master; 
Kaluna, Cavellish, master ; I. P. Foster, Wiggins, master ; brig Francisco, Smith, 
master; bark Louisa, Johnson, master; steamer Fairy, Gove, master; sloop Sarah 
Stone, Slater, master; bark Sarah Warren, Gove, master; clipper bark Live 
Yankee, A. W. Gove, master; bark Russell, Wilson, master; brig Chauncey; 
ship Nile; brig Wellingsby ; revenue cutter Jefif Davis, Pease, captain; bark 
Powhattan ; frigate Pique, Nicholson, master ; steamer Virago, Marshall, master ; 
sloop Rob Roy, McLean, master; schooner Harriet, Bowden, master; frigate 
president, Burtridge, commander; (The President, Pique and Virago were 
British men-of-war that lately had encountered the Russians at Petropolovski ; 


they had brought llic Russian vessel Sitka to \'ictoria as a prize) ; brig I. B. Brown. 
Myhanv master; brig Carbon, Sampson, master; scliooncr B. B. Potter, fishing 
vessel; bark Ella Francis, Mitchell, master; schooner Willimantic,- Boyling, mas- 
ter; brig E. D. Wolf, Kanes, master; ship Mason, Wilkinson, master; bark Mary 
Melville, Darby, master; bark Brontes, Ludberg, master; bark Rio Grande; 
brig Merchantman, Pray, master; brig George Emery, Diggs, master. 

Thus within less than a decade Puget Sound had become a haven of white 
sails and Seattle had established herself as the center of activity. But in Septem- 
ber, 185^. an undertaking was set afoot on Puget Sound w hich meant the beginning 
of the end of the supremacy of these vessels on its waters. The men who were 
busy laying the corner stone of a future Seattle found that the presence of a 
regular steamer would be required to handle the rapidly increasing commerce 
on the Sound. They needed something more than speedy sailing \esscls and 
something ditierent from the snail-like policy which was content with the change- 
able winds and tides. They had already suflfered materially from the want of such 
a vessel. In transportation of live stock they had been forced to use flat-bottomed 
boats and scows, often under incoiuenient, tedious and even dangerous cir- 
cumstances. Instead of the tall masts hewn from the forests on the hills, fur- 
naces and boilers were destined to hold the suprcniacy among Seattle shipbuilders. 

Still the sails and spars did not altogether disai)]x-ar. For years sailing 
vessels of every description have been important carriers in the coal, fish and 
lumber trade of the Sound. Today they may be seen at any time plying in 
and out among the great sea-going steamers which ride at anchor in Seattle's 

The appearance of the first steamboat on Puget Sound to engage in local 
traffic was as noticeable an incident in its way as the advent of the Claremonl on 
the Hudson River about fifty years earlier. 

Both effected a revolution in marine traffic, one world wide, the other locally. 

For years after the first white men arrived here the Indian canoe, propelled 
by paddles, or by sail, if the wind was fair, was almost the only means of com- 
munication between the different ports. Later, sloops, broad of beam and capable 
of carr)ing a large area of sail, came into common use. 

The pioneer steamer of Puget Sound and indeed of the Pacific Ocean, was 
the Beaver. To my mind no other craft has ever floated on any sea around 
which so much romantic interest centers. 

When the race came off in which the America won the cuj) that England's 
greatest designers and most gallant sportsmen have tried so often to recover, 
after the announcement of the America's victory, the question was asked : "What 
boat was second?" The reply was, "There was no second, your Majesty." 

So it was with the Beaver. There was no second to her. She was in a 
class by herself. She was built at the same period the first American mission- 
aries came to Oregon, 1834, though she was not launched until 1835. She was 
an old boat when gold was discovered in California. 

She was built at Blackwell, on the River Thames, five or six miles down 
stream from the old London Bridge and of oak throughout. Few, if any of the 
notable craft that have been launched since that day have attracted a tithe of 
the attention accorded to her during her construction or at her launching. From 
the day her keel was laid until she went down the English Channel on her way 

Vol. I— g 


to the Western Ocean, that had never feh the throb of paddle or propeller, 
she was the object of close and kindly interest. King William and a host of the 
nobility of England, surrounded by 150,000 of all classes of people, were present 
at the launching. But little was known about steam marine navigation at that 
time and the coast of the North Pacific was also almost unknown save to a few 
traders and whalers. It seemed an act of heroic daring for those on board her 
to venture out in. a craft so tiny to a mysterious and almost unknown region on 
the other side of the world. 

Her machinery was placed in position, but her sidewheels were not attached, 
so she was fitted out with sails, brig rigged and made the long voyage under 
canvas by the way of Cape Horn and the Hawaiian Islands, with Captain 
Home in ctammand. The bark Columbia sailed with her, as consort, and 
although the Beaver was much speedier than the other they kept together most 
of the time. The voyage from England to the mouth of the Columbia River 
lasted 163 days and no serious accident happened to either of the vessels. 

The Beaver lost but little time in sailing up the Columbia to Fort Vancouver. 
Carpenters were at once set to work putting the paddles in place and getting the 
craft ready for service. At 4 P. M. May 16, 1836, steam was raised and the 
engines tried and found to be in good condition. At daylight, Tuesday, May 17, 
they unmoored the ship and got steam up. At 3.30 A. M. weighed anchor and 
ran down stream several miles for firewood. 

The shores of the lordly Columbia at Vancouver echoed the first pufifs of 
steam and the beat of the paddles of the first steamer on either shore of the 
Pacific. The next few weeks were occupied in painting the upper works and in 
making sundry excursions up and down the Columbia and up the "Wilhammet" 
as the river is spelled in the log of the Beaver. 

In Parker's "Exploring Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains," on page 325 
is the following: 

"On the i4tli of June we took a water excursion on the steamboat Beaver, 
Captain Home, down the Columbia to the confluence of the western branch of 
the Multnomah, and through it into the Columbia and back to the fort. All 
the low lands were overflowed by the annual freshet, and presented the appear- 
ance of an immense bay, extending far into the country. The day was pleasant 
and our company cheerful. The novelty of a steamboat on the Columbia awak- 
ened a train of prospective reflections upon the probable changes which would 
take place in these remote regions ' in a very few years. It was wholly an 
unthought of thing when I first contemplated this enterprise, that I should find 
here this forerunner of commerce and business. The gayety which prevailed 
was often suspended while we conversed of coming days when with civilized 
men all the rapid improvements in the arts of life should be introduced over this 
new world, and when cities and villages shall spring up on the west, as they 
are springing up on the east of the great mountains, and a new empire shall be 
added to the kingdoms of the earth." 

These people went up the river nearly where the City of Portland now 
stands, and from the decks of a steamer making the same run now can be seen 
the homes of nearly three hundred thousand people. The paragraph above 
contained a remarkable prophecy. 

June 26, 1836, the Beaver crossed the bar outward bound, never agani to 


re-enter that river, and steamed away to the north. At this time nearly all 
this Northwest was under the control of the Hudson's Bay Company, either by 
lease from the Russians or under grant from the English government, and that 
company had almost a monopoly in the fur trade and in traffic witii the Indians. 
Into this service the Beaver went at once, running up the coast to Sitka and in 
and out of every bay, river and inlet between that port and Puget Sound. 

riie following about her appears in a letter from Mr. Edward lluggins, who 
then lived at Fort Nisqually with his wife, who was a daughter of John Work, 
mentioned by him. He says : 

"December 3, 1836, the Beaver came to Fort Nisqually and received on 
board Mrs. John Work and family, who had a few weeks before made the 
journey from \"ancouver via the Cowlitz River, by canoes and across the country 
on horseback, and were now going to join Mr. Work at Fort Simpson which 
is several hundred miles to the northward of Victoria, where he was in com- 
mand of the fort and the company's business at that point. 

"The Beaver, of course, burned wood, and always kept a corps of men. ten. 
I think, as wood chojrpers, and old John McLeod and Joseph Legard, now living 
in the neighborhood of Fort Nisqually, were of the company of choppers for 
some time. 

"Her engines were built by the celebrated firm of r>olton & Watts, and 
were models of strength and solidity. Her ]Kuldle wheels were small and set 
far forward. She carried a crew of thirty men. an armament of four six- 
pounders and was extensively supplied with small arms. The decks were pro- 
tected by boarding nettings to ])rcvent access by the natives otherwise than by the 
gangways, and more than thirty Indians were never allowed on deck at one time, 
unless they were accompanied by their wives and children. 

"After paying for herself several times over she was thought too small and 
slow for the company's business so they brought out the Otter, a propeller, in 
1851. The Beaver continued in the company's service for some years, but was 
eventually sold and put into service as a tugboat." 

In 1851, while in command of Captain Steward, she made a Irij) over to 
the .\merican side, where she was seized and taken to Olympia for alleged 
infraction of our revenue laws. Her captain watched his ojiportunily and i)ut 
ihe watchmen ashore then made haste to get out of American waters. The trouble 
ended there, for it was not long until she was plying freely on this side the line. 
During the Indian war the Beaver and Otter were i)laced at the dis])os;d of the 
territorial authorities several times and were used to much advantage. 

In 18(^10 she was turned into a passenger boat and placed on the run between 
Victoria and New Westminster, and a few years later she was chartered for 
use in coast surveys of British Columbia waters, continuing in this service until 
late in 1870. She had now been afloat and in hard service for a generation, so 
was hauled out and given thorough repairs. Her timbers were as sound as 
when she was launched, but in one of them was found embedded a piece of rock 
weighing ten pounds that she had picked up one time when she had meddled 
with Race Rocks. A less substantial craft would have had her hull crushed 
like an eggshell at that time. 

In 1874 she was again refitted and turned into a towboat, and a few weeks 
later the Hudson's Bay Company sold her to a private firm. She continued in 


the towing business until i8S8, having had se\ere usage most of the time, and 
one time burned nearly to the water's edge. The latter year she again took out 
a license as a passenger boat and went into that business on Burrard's Inlet. 

In July of that year she ran on the rocks at the entrance of Vancouver 
harbor. Negotiations were begun by a company to purchase her, which intended 
to place her on exhibition. However, on inspection it was found that memento 
seekers had nearly pulled her to pieces, and the idea was abandoned. Soon after, 
in a gale of wind, the battered old hulk slid from her perch upon the rocks and 
went to the bottom. 

It was more than seventeen years after the arrival of the Beaver before an 
American steamboat went into service here in Seattle. 

The steamer Fairy, D. J. Gove, master, arrived at Olympia the night of 
October 31, 1853. Captain Gove had just brought her from San Francisco on 
the bark Sarah \^'arren. 

Her ad\ertisement appeared November 12th, giving dates of departures and 
arrivals; also agents, who were: Philip Keach, Steilacoom ; Charles C. Terry, 
Alki; Arthur A. Denny. Seattle. Fare from Olympia to Seattle $10.00. 

The Major Tompkins was the next to arrive. She was a propeller of sea- 
going qualities. She was built in Philadelphia in 1847 and went to New Orleans 
and ran from that place until 1850. That year she went to New York and from 
there came to San Francisco. She ran for a time on the Sacramento River in 
opposition to the regular line, but was soon bought oft". In 1854 John H. Scran- 
ton and James M. Hunt secured a contract to carry the United States mails on 
Puget Sound and bought her for the service. It took her about three weeks to 
make the trip from the Bay City to Olympia. She arrived at the latter place 
September 20, 1854, and was welcomed with great rejoicings at Seattle, and all 
the ports along the Sound where she traveled. Her career was even shorter and 
as disastrous as that of her predecessor. February 25, 1855, while entering 
Victoria Harbor, she was wrecked, becoming a total loss except a portion of 
her machinery. While not engaged on her regular run she did some towing of 
sail vessels in and out from the Sound and therefore was the first American 
vessel to do this kind of work. 

The Water Lily, a sidewheeler, only forty-nine feet long, was built in San 
Francisco in 1853, and brought to the Sound on a sailing vessel by Capt. ^^■il- 
liam Webster, in January, 1855. He was then opening a coal mine on the bank 
of Black River and used her in towing scows from the mine to Seattle. She was 
snagged and sunk almost immediately after going to work. 

Soon after the sinking of the Tompkins the Fairy went on the run from 
Olympia to Seattle, with mails and passengers under the command of Capt. 
Charles C. Terry. 

The Pioneer and Democrat of October 26, 1855, says: "Through the enter- 
prise of Mr. John G. Parker of this place, a small but neat and comfortable 
steamer has been placed upon the waters of the Sound, to ply between this point 
and Seattle ; also to carry the United States mail. Mr. Parker will command 
her and we heartily wish that the public would gi\e him a good support. The 
long absence of steam communication on the Sound has been seriously felt and 
the arrival of the Traveler was universally hailed with joy." 

This was the first appearance of Capt. John G. Parker in the role of a steam- 


boat man on Puget Sound althoiigli he arrived in Olympia in i<^53. and had been 
engaged in merchandising and the express business. Down to the time of his 
retirement from active service he was the best known steamboat man on Puget 
Sound, and his sons, Gilmore and Herbert Parker, both steamboat men, later 
became almost as well known. 

The Traveler was built at Philadelphia in the early '50s and brought around 
the Horn in sections and set up at San Francisco. She was an iron propeller 
and was loaded on the brig J. B. Brown and brought to Port Gamble. The 
Traveler ran between Olympia and Seattle going one way each week and stop- 
ping at all intermediate points. She was very seniceable during the contin- 
uance of the Indian war and Captain Parker did good work in command of her 
until its close. To her belongs the honor of being the first steamboat to navigate 
the White, Snohomish and Xooksack rivers. 

\\'illiam X. Horton, another well known pioneer of Olympia, served as engi- 
neer on the Traveler most of the time Parker owned her until 1857 when he 
bought the vessel and took over the command. Early in March, iiS^S, .she was 
again on the route from Olympia to Port Townsend, carrying mails and pas- 
-engcrs, having been for some time under charter to the Indian department. 
She left Port Townsend March 3d for Port Gamble in command of Capt. 
Thomas Slater with six white men and two Indians on board. Xear Foulwcather 
Bluff she encountered a severe storm and anchored under the lee of the liluff 
to await better weather. During the night she sprung a leak and began settling 
so rapidly that nothing could be done to save her. Warren, the engineer, and 
the two Indians swam ashore, while the others stayed with the vessel a little 
too long and sank with her. They were Thomas Slater, captain; Truman H. 
Fuller, purser; Mr. Stevens, a passenger, and two deck hands, names unknown. 

Late in August. 1857, the Constitution, a small ocean-going steamer, arrived 
to run between Olympia and Victoria. She was 165 feet long. 

There was a fatality connected with the early mail service on Puget Sound, 
for disaster soon overtook every steamer engaged in it for years. This new one 
was no exception. The Constitution began running on the Olympia-Victoria 
route soon after her arrival. Hunt, one of the partners in the mail contract, serv- 
ing as master. John L. Butler, who continued in service on Puget Sound waters 
for over thirty years, was pilot and Charles E. Williams, one of Olympia's lead- 
ing merchants for many years afterward, was purser. 

The mail contract brought in $36,000 j)er year, but the other l)usiness was not 
large, and the steamer was an expensive one to run, so that in a few months she 
was sold at auction by the United States marshal for a pittance. Later she was 
dismantled and her hull turned into a sailing vessel. As a barkentine she went 
into the lumber carrying trade from T^iget Sound mills and did excellent serv- 
ice for many years. 

.\ few weeks before the Constitution steamed away from San Francisco the 
steamer Sea Bird, Capt. Francis Conner, made her appearance at Olympia. under 
engagement to carry the mails on the Sound. She went on the route from 
' 'lymjiia to ISellingham Bay instead of to \'ictoria. The Eraser River mines were 
attracting attention at this time and Bellingham Bay had a thriving city on its 
shores for some months in 1858. 

-About June ist she left the Sound run and went into business on the Eraser 


River. On her down trip she grounded on a bar and was not released until 
September 2d, after the rush to the mines was nearly ended. Five days later, 
while en route from \'ictoria to Fort Langley on the Eraser, she caught fire 
and was totally de.stroyed. 

The Resolute, the pioneer steam tug, arrived at Port Madison May 6lh, a 
short time prior to the Sea Bird's leaving. 

This craft had a history of her own. She became identified with milling and 
shipping interests, and wherever a boom of logs or a vessel was to be towed 
between Budd's Inlet and Neah Bay she was a frequent visitor. 

George A. Meigs, of Port Madison mills, and Pope and Talbot, of Port 
Gamble mills, bought her in partnership and brought her from San Francisco 
to Puget Sound. She came up under command of Captain Pray, who ran her 
for a few months and was then succeeded by Capt. I. M. Guindon. Her length 
was 89 feet, beam 171^ feet, and depth 9 feet 4 inches. She was devoted to the 
towage business exclusi\ely, and though a small craft, was exceedingly powerful. 

In Octolier she came in collision with the Pacific Mail Steamship Company's 
Northerner about midway between Steilacoom and Olympia. Both boats were 
injured and the ensuing lawsuit became a celebrated case in the courts. 

In August, 1808, while towing a boom of logs, her boiler exploded, killing 
or drowning all but the captain and one other, and sinking the boat. 

The Eliza Anderson made her first appearance on Puget Sound in March, 
1858. She was built at Portland, Oregon, for the Columbia River Steam Naviga- 
tion Coini)any, consisting of Richard Hoyt, S. G. Reed, Benjamin Stark, Rich- 
ard \A'illiams, J. C. Graham and W. B. Wells. Pier keel was laid in 1857 '^"d 
about eighteen months were consumed in her construction the launching taking 
place November 27. 1858. Early in 1859 John T. Wright and ISradford Brothers 
bought her and she was brought around to the Sound under command of Capt. 
J. G. Hustler. 

The Anderson was in type a sea-going vessel and the finest one on the Sound 
fitted for the work. She was 140 feet long, 24 feet 6 inches beam, 8 feet 10 
inches hold, 279 tons register; low pressure vertical or "walking beam'' engine. 
For many years she could do twelve knots an hour if necessary, but usually 
jogged along at about nine. 

On her arrival, Capt. John Fleming took charge and .she began a career of 
money making interspersed with vicissitudes that made her name a household 
word in marine circles for forty years. During the first fifteen she was a travel- 
ing bank and a floating gold mine. Probably no other craft of her small size and 
low speed ever made as much money for her owners. In the early days the 
fare on her from Olympia to Seattle was $6.50; to Port Townsend, $12.30 and 
to Victoria, $20.00. Horses and cattle paid $15.00 per head; sheep and hogs. 
$2.50; freight from $5.00 to $10.00 by measurement. If a wagon were shipped 
standing, the tongue left extended, the measurement was from tip of tongue to 
end of reach ; and from deck to top of standards. No opportunity to turn an 
honest penny was neglected. 

She ran almost continuously for twelve years. She often had opposition and 
fares for a time went down to almost nothing. It happened several times that 
50 cents would pay one's way the full length of the run. In succession the 
Enterprise, Alexandria, Josie McNear, New World and Wilson G. Hunt made a 


vigorous fight for the husiness, but were one after the other bought off or run 
off. The Anderson had made so much money for her owners that they were 
practically invincible. Most of these boats came from the Columbia River and 
in due course those bouglit by the Anderson's owners were sent back there or 
to the Sacramento, where the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, or the Cali- 
fornia Steam Navigation held a monopoly, and before the ensuing war was 
ended the Anderson's owners had recouped any losses they had sustained by 
temporary opposition on the Sound. 

About 1870 she was relieved from regular service by Captain Finch's new 
steamer, the Olympia. When the Starrs secured the mail contract, about 1872, 
Captain Finch was subsidized to withdraw his steamers from Puget Sound and 
was guaranteed the sum of $18,000 per annum to do so. The Anderson was 
tied up at her dock in Olympia and kept there as a watchdog, while Captain 
Finch or his attorneys collected $1,500 a month for four years. It was a regular 
event for John R. Allen, later United States senator from the State of Washing- 
ton, to be seen staggering under the weight of this sum, mostly in silver, on 
his way to George A. Barnes' bank to deposit to the credit of Captain Finch. 

About 1882, while lying at the wharf in Seattle, she sprung a leak and was 
sunk, but was raised without much difficulty and the next year was given an 
overhauling which disclosed the fact that her timbers were still perfectly sound. 
This was quite generally commented on by the public press as confirmation of 
claims made by shii)buildcrs of the value of fir timber for their uses. Capt. 
Tom Wright, one of the numerous brothers of that name, put her on the run 
from Seattle to New Westminster. He served as captain, E. W. Holmes, mate, 
and Orion O. Denny, engineer. 

Wright kept her going for two or three years, but in 1885 hecame involved 
in difficulties with the customs authorities on a charge of carrying contraband 
Chinamen, and whether guilty or not, the delays and expenses of the suit drove 
him and the Anderson out of business. 

liuil 1886 she remained the property of the Wrights and Capt. D. B. Finch, 
but was then bought by the Washington Steamboat Company and later by the 
Puget Sound & Alaska Steampship Company. The latter stored her away, and 
to the best of my recollection she remained out of service until the "Klondike 
rush" came, when she was again repaired after a fashion, and sent up north. 
She was overtaken by disaster, and her bones found tlicir last resting jilace at 
Dutch Harbor or somewhere in that vicinity. 

During her long career on Puget Sound she was commanded by Capts. John 
Fleming, Thomas Wright, D. B. Finch, Charles Clancy, Wm. J. Waitt, Daniel 
Morrison, David Wallace, Mcintosh, Tarte, Holmes, Jackson and many others. 

The tug Goliah was an old vessel when she went into service on the Sound 
in 187 1, under command of Capt. William Ilayden. She was built about 184S 
for \'an(Icrbilt and Webb for the towage business about New York Harbor. Soon 
after she was sold. l)Ut before the new owners could get away on the trip around 
the Horn for San Francisco the vessel was seized by the United States marshal. 
One morning he waked to find the vessel and himself at sea. He was put ashore 
at St. Thomas, where the tug was coaled and provisioned. She reached San 
Francisco in safety and ran there some time in the passenger business and again 


in the towing service for about a dozen years. In 1871 she was bought bj 
Pope & Talbot and brought to Puget Sound. 

After Captain Hayden left her she was in charge of Captains Noyes, McCoy, 
Butler and S. D. Libby, under the latter for twelve years. Then came Captains 
Selby, Clements and Williamson. Until the Tacoma Mill Company put its 
powerful tug Tacoma into service the Goliah had towed most of the sailing 
vessels from the straits into British Columbia waters as well as into Puget 
Sotmd. She was laid up finally about 1894, after nearly a half century of con- 
tinuous service. 

The hull of a large stern-wheel steamer was built on Puget Sound in 1859 
for the Eraser River and Puget Sound traffic, but was towed around to the 
Columbia River and in due time put in opposition to the regular line on the 
Cascade route. In a short time she was bought off, and then brought back to 
the Sound and set to work carrying the mails between Olympia and \'ictoria 
during the summer of 1859. then taken back to the Columbia. She was first 
called the Julia Barclay, soon shortened to the Julia. 

The steamer Ranger No. 2, a side-wheeler only 77 feet long, was built in 
San Erancisco in 1853, and did a jobbing business there until 1859, when Capt. 
John .S. Hill brought her to the Sound and put her into the same line of work. 
Captain Hill was a pioneer of Seattle. He was married here to .\ddie Andrews 
and they had two daughters and a son born here. He was one of the best known 
men of his profession in the Northwest. At last account he was living in 
Idaho. The name of the lioat was soon changed to Ranger. She continued in 
service only two or three years, when her machinery was taken out and the hull 
allowed to go to pieces. 

The year 1859 was memorable on the Northwest coast. The gokl mines 
on Eraser River attracted a great many thousand of miners from all parts of 
the world. At one time there were 10,000 on the shores of Bellingham Bay 
and other tens of thousands went to the mines by way of Victoria. The Pacific 
Mail Steamship Company sent every old hulk it owned that could be spared 
from its regular runs to the Sound with passengers, and every outside steamer 
was put into the same service. Business was dull on the Sound, so at every 
opportunity the mail steamer made a trip with a load of miners, regardless of 
delays to the mail ser\ice. In fact, scarcely an issue of the local papers appeared 
that did not have complaints about the way the mails were handled. The same 
was true, more or less, down to the time of the completion of the railroad from 
Kalama to Tacoma. 

From early in August, 1859, when the Eliza Anderson began carrying the 
mails until the appearance of the North Pacific, the Wrights and Finch ruled 
local marine matters with a rod of iron. If an outsider secured the contract for 
carrying the mails, he had to make a low bid to get it, and then rates of fare 
and freight went down to almost nothing. The steamers under lease to the 
contractor for carrying the mails would be purchased outright by the old com- 
pany or subsidized to leave the route. The result was in every instance that 
the mail contract fell into the hands of the old company, opposition ceased and 
rates were again restored. In the meanwhile the public endured irregular mail 
service and was burdened with almost prohibitory rates of fare and freight. 

Down to i860 the writer has endeavored to give a brief sketch of every boat 





I— « 










engaged in service on the Sound distinct from the ocean-going craft tliat came 
here from San Francisco occasionally. FVoni that date the number increased 

Two steamers of local historic interest went into service on Puget Sound in 
1863, the J. B. Lihliy and Mary \\'oodruft. They were the pioneers of Seattle's 
mosquito fleet. 

The Libhy was built by William Hammond for Capt. S. D. Libby, half owner, 
and Charles H. Gorton and Lewis \'. W'yckoff, each owner of one-fourth inter- 
est, and launched at Utsalady in 1862. She was named after the adopted son of 
Captain Libby, who in later years became prominent in steamboat and tugboat 
operations on the Sound, with his headquarters at Seattle and Port Townsend. 
She was a side-wdieelcr with high pressure boilers. In 1865 she was taken to 
Port Ludlow and cut in two about the middle and considerably lengthened. 
She was among the earliest steamers to run between Seattle and Whatcom. In 
1870, she was purchased by John SufFern, Orion O. Denny and John Blythe, 
and jilaced upon the run to Bellingham P)ay, carrying the United States mails 
and soon had built up a good business, .\mong her many captains were John 
Suflfern, George F. Frye, Mark Norton, Samuel Jackson, Thomas Brannan, 
James Smith, and John Blythe. Later Samuel Coulter was awarded the contract 
for carrying the mails twice a week from Seattle by way of Coupeville, Cove- 
land, Utsalady and La Conner to Bellingham Bay, and he made a lot of money 
during his ownership of her. In 1880, Capt. Charles Low bought an interest in 
her and ran her for a time, was succeeded by W'. F. Monroe in 1882, and he by 
George Frj'e in 1883. A couple of years later she was secured by Capt. J. M. 
I'rittain who changed her to a propeller and spent a lot of money on her and 
then put her on the route between Seattle and Neah Bay. Capt. James Morgan 
was her next owner, who in turn, sold her to Capt. Herbert F. Beecher in 1889. 
For a few months she was operated in the Roche Harbor lime trade, but in 
Xovembcr of that year she caught fire enroute for Port Townsend, and while 
tiic bull was towed into port, her destruction was so complete that no attempt 
was made to rebuild her. Her owners and officers included a large number of 
men who later became prominent in the business aft'airs of Seattle, and several 
of them are still residents here. 

Capt. William Hammond, who constructed the Libby, was the leader among 
the pioneer shii)builders in Seattle. He was born in Fairhaven, Mass., in 1823, 
and when a young man learned the trade of naval architect and shipbuilder, 
lie followed his ])rofession at New Bedford, N. Y., and other Atlantic ports 
until 185S, when he came to Seattle. His first work of importance on the Sound 
was the steamship John T. Wright which he constructed at Port Ludlow. In 
addition to the isioneer steamer J. B. Libby he built the Evangel, Nellie, and a 
large number of well known Puget Sound vessels. Hammond was appointed 
inspector of hulls in Seattle in 1870, a position which he held for many years. 
While in office he superintended the construction of the steamer George E. 
Starr and on retiring from office set afloat a number of other steamers and schoon- 
ers. He died in Seattle, January 9, 1891. Hammond's shijiyard and ways were 
"u the beach where the Post Street power station is now. 

The Mary Woodruff, another side-wheeler, was built at Meigs' shipyard in 
I'ort Madison for John Swan and Jay E. Smith. Her machinery was taken from 


the old steamer Ranger. When completed, she was put on the Whatcom route, 
being the pioneer in the postal service between Seattle and Bellingham Bay. 
After a short time, she was sold to Capt. John Cosgrove, who was familiarly- 
known all over Puget Sound as "Humboldt Jack." For years previous, he had 
made at least one round trip daily between Seattle and Port Madison carrying 
passengers, mails and small articles of freight. The Maria, his sloop or 
"plunger" as its type was called here in early days, under his first management 
was never deterred from its daily trip by the most boisterous weather. 

With the ]\Iary Woodruff, Captain Cosgrove widened his scope of operations 
and he soon became a familiar figure in most Puget Sound ports. She carried 
passengers and freight and often United States mails on several routes, and 
between times, towed scows, logs and lumber vessels. He thus made a small for- 
tune, and sold his steamer and retired to live ashore. About 1870 Capt. Henry 
Smith was in charge of her and in 1872, Capt. James R. Williamson bought her 
to use in connection*with his large sawmill that he had btiilt and was then operat- 
ing about where the ferry boat now lands in West Seattle. He ran her some 
eight or ten years and then having outlived her usefulness, she was beached 
near the mill, her machinery taken out and the hull burned. Like the steamer 
Libby, she had among her owners men who made and lost large fortunes, and 
were active and prominent in business affairs in Seattle and adjacent ports. 

Another pioneer shipbuilder of Seattle was Capt. J. F. T. Mitchell, who 
during his time completed sixty-four vessels. He came to the Sound in 1862 
and ran the schooner Leah from Seattle to Victoria for nine months, when he 
began building steamers and sailing craft. He constructed the steamer Zephyr, 
the first passenger stern-wheeler on the Soimd, and built the steamer George E. 
Starr, with Captain Hammond as superintendent of construction. He also 
completed the Xellie, Cassiar, Queen City. Willie, Seattle, Success and many 
other famous vessels. 

Two small stern-wheelers were constructed on the Sound in 1864, the Black 
Diamond at Seattle and the Pioneer at Olympia. The Black Diamond was a 
flat-bottomed boat seventy feet long built originally by Hill & Rabbeson as a 
schooner, but afterwards fitted up with machinery for the White River trade. 
According to Capt. Tom Brennan, "It was a deep water voyage from Seattle to 
Olympia and when Hill, her first captain, set out on such a trip he went round 
to bid everybody in town good-bye." Captain Hill continued jobbing about the 
Sound with the vessel for several years and finally disposed of her to the Tacoma 
Mill Company who in turn sold her to Capt. George W. Gove in August, 1876. 

In 1869 and 1870 there were a lot of steamers on the Sound, the largest 
being the Wilson G. Hunt, Favorite, Anderson and V'aruna, until the Olympia 
was brought out from Xew York by Captain Finch and the Wrights. She was 
a side-wheeler, 180 feet long, 30 feet beam and i25/> feet depth of hold, brig 
rigged, and hull throughout of seasoned w'hite oak. She arrived at Olympia 
December 3, 1S70, and made her first start on the Olympia-Victoria route on the 
7th. She was by far the best steamer that had ever engaged in the service, hav- 
ing been designed by men who understood its exact requirements. 

During this period events were shaping that resulted in a revolution of marine 
conditions on Puget Sound, so far as the transportation of mails and passengers 
was concerned. 


One J. T. Nash, possessed of small steamboat experience and little capital, 
secured the mail contract from Olympia and way ports to \'ictoria for the next 
four years. He chartered the \'aruna to carry the mail until he could build 
a steamer for that purpose. The ways were put on the beach at Miller's 
Point, a couple of miles below Olympia, and there the Alida was built. The 
Starr brothers had grown wealthy at Portland in the tinners' business, and Nash, 
having had an acquaintance with them, secured money from them to carry on 
the work. Before it was done he had been compelled to turn over the boat and 
mail contract to them for their protection and that of numerous other creditors. 
Thus the Starrs, who had no previous knowledge of steamboating, got started 
in a career where they made an immense fortune. 

About the ist of July, 1870, the Alida was thought to be ready for service, 
and the owners gave an excursion on her to Seattle. The number of guests was 
large, and the vessel so cranky that she came near capsizing several times dur- 
ing the trip, and many old-timers to this day remember the dangers of the trip. 

The Olympia was put on the run in opposition, and her speed and safety 
^.Mubined attracted nearly all the travel. The Starrs felt this keenly and deter- 
mined to have a boat that would be faster and run more cheaply than the 
Olympia, so they let a contract to a boat-building firm in San I'rnncisco that 
embodied these stipulations, among others, for the building of such a craft. 

The steamer North Pacific was the result. She arrived at 01\nipia |une 24, 
1871. Much interest was taken at Seattle and every port from Olympia to \'ic- 
toria in the impending race. A short time before she was due to come around. 
Johnson's Point Captain Finch went over to the high ground at West Olymjjia 
with his ship's telescope and there awaited the appearance of the craft whose 
speed and other sea-going qualities meant so much to him. Before she reached 
the dock he knew she was faster than his own beautiful boat the Olympia. 
However, he maintained a confident air and continued the existing opposition. 

Xo good chance for a race offered until the return Irij:) from Victoria, June 
27th. The North Pacific made the run from \'ictoria to Port Townsend in two 
hours and forty-one minutes, some three or four minutes ahead of her ri\al. 
Both parties soon reached the conviction that it was best to compromise. .\n 
agreement was arrived at that is related elsewhere in the history of the l-lliza 
Anderson. Later the Olympia was bought by Victorians and rechristened the 
Princess Louise. 

\\ hen the Starrs had gained full control of the situation they showed their 
excellent good sense in not restoring the excessive rates that had theretofore 
been in force at times of no opposition. A rate was adopted of S2.00 from 
Olympia to Tacoma or Seattle; to Port Townsend, $3.50; to Victoria, $5.00; 
meals, 75 cents; berths, $1 ; rooms from $2 to $5. Capt. Charles Clancey was 
in charge of the North Pacific nearly all the time until the Starrs sold out to 
the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, and until the appearance of the 
latter company's Alaskan and Olympian on the Sound the North Pacific was 
the flagship and carried the broom at her masthead. 

The New World, one of the finest steamers which had appeared on the Sound, 
arrived at Olympia from the Columbia River in February, 1867, under com- 
mand of Capt. Henry Winsor. After a brief period of warm competition with 
the Eliza Anderson she was found too expensive to run and was i)urchased by 


Captain Finch, who sent her hack to CaHfornia. Two stealers of Puget Sound 
construction, the Ruby and the Chehalis, made their debut in the same year. 
The Ruby was a small propellor, built at Snohomish City by Capt. H. H. Hyde, 
who ran her between Seattle and Snohomish a short time, then sold her to 
Meigs & Gawley who used her for years as a ferry boat between Port ^ladison 
and Seattle. In 1879 she was sold to Dexter Horton & Co., and was afterward 
used as a freight and jobbing steamer. She was finally purchased by \'ictoria 
parties who registered her under the British flag. 

The Chehalis was a small stern-wheeler built at Tumwater, in 1867, by H. 
FI. Hyde. After a disastrous experience on the Chehalis River she was operated 
between Snohomish, Port Gamble and Port Ludlow. She was subsequently 
sold to the coal company and used for towing barges on Lake ^^'ashington. 
Later Capt. Hiram Olney ran her on the Seattle and Olympia route. She did 
good service until Xovember, 1882, when she was caught in a gale while en 
route from Snohomish to Seattle in command of Capt. \\'. F. Monroe, and 
becoming unmanageable, was blown stern on to the beach near Ten ]Mile Point, 
a total loss. Her cargo was strewn for ten miles along the shore. 

Seattle's industries by the early "70s were keeping her mosquito fleet more 
than busy. In 1870 the value of lumber cut in the vicinity of .Seattle had reached 
S200.000 or double the amount of i860. The whaling and fishing industry was 
becoming of substantial value to the Sound ports. The coal industry, though 
still young, gave great promise of future development. In 1871 shipments from 
coal mines near Seattle were only 4,918 tons; by 1876 104,556 tons were mined, 
three-fourths of which was exported. 

In the midst of this commercial activity steamboat building, which for a few 
years had been slightly checked, started in with renewed vigor. 

The steamer Zephyr, the first stern-wheeler on Puget Sound was built in 
Seattle in 1871, by J. F. T. Mitchell for J. R. Robbins for the Seattle and 
Olympia route ; Capt. Thomas .\. Wright was her master. Wright remained 
with her until 1875. '^^'hen she was turned o\er to Capt. X. L. Rodgers. Two 
years later she was sold by the sheriff to AL \'. B. Stacey for $3. 350. 

The first steamboating of Capt. W. R. Ballard, the founder of the suburb of 
Seattle which bears his name, was on the Zephyr. He became master of the 
steamer in 1877. A few years later he purchased an interest in her and in 1883 
became sole owner. He operated the Zephyr very profitably until 1887, when 
he sold out to the Tacoma Mill Company and entered other pursuits with a 
comfortable fortune made in the steamboat business. He became one of the 
prominent capitalists of Seattle. 

Another small stern-wheeler bearing the misleading name of Comet was 
launched in Seattle, in 1.S71, by Capt. S. P. Randolph, the first man to operate 
a steamer on Lake Washington. The Comet was for a long while on the ^^'hite 
River trade and ran for several years on nearly all the routes out of Seattle. 
She w-ent out of commission early in the '80s. Other small steamers built about 
the same time w-ere the propellor Etta A\'hite, built at Freeport, now West 
Seattle, and the small side-wheeler Clara, launched at Seattle for the Seattle 
Coal & Transportation Company. 

After the .Starrs had settled their differences with Finch & Wright, the Puget 
Sound Steam Xa\igation Comjiany was incorporated at Olympia in 1871 "for the 

X -T^ 

r'" ^^ 



pur])Ose of navigating the waters of Pugct Sound, Admiralty Inlet, Straits of 
Juan de Fuca, Pacific Ocean and all of Washington." The officers were: J. 
N. Goodwin, president; Marshall Blinn, vice president; E. A. Starr, secretary 
and treasurer; L. M. Starr, Cyrus Walker, E. S. Smith, J. W. Sprague, J. B. 
Montgomery and O. F. Gerrish, directors. 

Seattle's increasing importance as the shipping center of the Sound was recog- 
nized in the same year when the city was made the headquarters of a govern- 
ment inspection district which included all of Puget Sound. Capt. William 
i lamniond was appointed the first inspector of hulls, and Isaac Parker, the first 
inspector of hoilers. Hammond was later succeeded by Capt. Henry Morgan. 

On March 22, 1873, the Merchants Transportation Company was organized at 
I ilympia with a capitalization of $100,000. Seattle was represented on the board 
of trustees by J. R. Robbins, T. A. Wright and T. S. Russell. Other trustees 
were James S. Lawson, R. G. O'Brien, S. W. Percival and B. B. Tuttle of 
Olympia; D. C. H. Rothschild of Port Townsend, and John Latham of Stcila- 
coom. A steamer was secured by the new organization, wliicli raised a slight 
disturbance on Starr's mail line though the opposition was sinall. By 1S74 
Captain Starr had perfected his organization until with Finch and Wright he 
controlled nearly all of the available steam craft on the Sound. This fleet included 
the steamers Olympia, Xorth Pacific, Alida, Tsabcl. Eliza .\nderson, Wilson G. 
Hunt and Otter. 

The discovery of gold in the Stikene and in the Cassiar country initiated 
a boom in steamboating in 1874. In addition the wheat fields of Washington 
and Oregon were producing crops which needed more vessels to handle them. 
The output of the coal mines in the vicinity of Seattle, the lumber and fish trade 
were steadily increasing. A number of small steamers were built at Seattle 
during the year, the best known of them being the Addie, constructed at the foot 
of Cherry Street. In 1875 she was taken to Lake Washington to tow barges 
for the Newcastle Coal Company, remaining there until the railroad was com- 
pleted, when she was taken back and operated in the jobbing trade by Capt. Mark 

T. W. Lake began the construction of boats in Seattle in 1874. Llis first 
product was the steamer Fannie Lake, a fine stern-wheeler built for Diggs & 
True, who ojjcrated her in the White River trade. The following year he built 
the tug Hope and was active for many years in the construction of steamers in 

The number of seamen who were granted licenses indicated that the marine 
business was increasing by leaps and bounds. Shipbuilding had already passed 
the experimental stage, and in 1874-75 a specialty was made of sailing vessels, 
a considerable number of which were built to handle the coal trade. Hall 
Bros, ship yards added several fine vessels to the fleet, the two-masted schoon- 
ers .\nne Lyle, Cassie Hayward, Ida Schnauer, La Geronde anrl American Girl; 
the three-masted schooners Emma Utter and Wm. L. Beebe. 

On July 21, 1875, the Kate Flickenger, the first three-masted vessel built in 
Seattle, was launched from Bclltown. She was built at a cost of $30,000 under 
the direction of Capt. S. J. Gilman and was partly owned in San Francisco. 
She was employed in the coasting trade. 

In the summer of 1875 the harbor at Seattle assumed a busier appearance 


than ever before. At one time there were nine sea-going vessels in port. Three 
of them toaded with coal. from the Newcastle mines, four from the Renton mines 
and one from the Talbot mine. Two loaded with lumber. On no previous 
occasion had there ever been more than seven sea-going vessels in the harbor 
at one time. The business activity and bustle around the wharves was very- 
noticeable and indicated a thrifty and profitable business. A short time before 
the ship Alaska carried away an aggregate vi 2,200 tons of coal and two schoon- 
ers loaded with building stone arrived. Seattle at this date claimed to be more 
important commercially than any other place on the Pacific Coast except San 
Francisco and f-'ortland. Eleven steamers were serving the traveling public. In 
addition there were many tugs and steamers of the mill companies here almost 
daily, carrying passengers as well as freight. 

The increasing business on the Puget Sound steamboat routes in 1876 opened 
the field for some of the surplus steamers of the Columbia and Willamette fleet. 
The steamer Annie Stewart was purchased in May by Capt. L. M. Starr, was 
brought to Seattle in June and on September ist carried the first daily mail 
from Tacoma to Seattle. 

About the same time the Puget Sound Transportation Company was incor- 
porated at Olympia with Thomas Macleay. president ; A. li. Steele, secretary 
and treasurer, and J. G. Parker, manager. 

The company liuilt the Messenger and operated her on the Seattle route 
three trips a week. The first run was made on December 17, 1S76, Capt. J. G. 
Parker in command. She was a well built steamer and handled an immense 
amount of business in the early days. The Parker Bros, handled her for many 
years. She was destroyed by fire at Tacoma in 1894. Other steamers which 
appeared in 1876 were the Hyack, the Minnie May and the Nellie. The most 
pretentious of these was the Nellie, launched from Hammond's shipyard, Seattle, 
July 22d, for Robbins, Wright & Stretch. She began running between Milton 
and Seattle and afterwards worked on the Snohomish and Skagit routes. 

The Minnie May was built for the Lake Washington trade by Capt. Wm. 
Jensen. She began the run regularly as a ferry boat across the lake. 

At Port Townsend Cajit. John C. Hornbeck launched the fine steamer Dis- 
patch. She was later disposed of to Capt. J. N. Brittain who operated her for 
several years. Brittain sold her to Morgan & Hastings of Port Townsend and 
while in command of Capt. Dave Hill in 1889 she was burned to the water's 
edge at Seattle. 

The profits of steamboating in Seattle and the Sound were considerably les- 
sened by fierce competition in 1877. The Puget .Sound Transportation Com- 
pany's steamer Messenger was beginning to make it interesting for Starr's line, 
with a 25 cent fare from Olympia and Tacoma to Seattle, with a free lunch 
thrown in. Finally a compromise was eft'ected later in the year by which Starr 
received a subsidy of $500 a month to withdraw the Otter from the Upper 
Sound route, giving the owners of the Zephyr and Messenger full swing except 
on that part of the Sound where Captain Brittain had the mail contract. Brit-, 
tain's line at this time included the steamers Teaser, Dispatch and Comet. 

But by far the most important event for Seattle, in 1877, was the organiza- 
tion of the Pacific Coast Steamship Company which today continues to be one of 
Seattle's largest shipping concerns. The company was successor to the Goodall 


iS: Perkins steamship line and was organized wilh Charles Goodall, president ; 
John Rosenfeld, vice president; Geo. C. Perkins, treasurer, and Edwin Goodall, 
secretary. Its original fleet included the side-wheel steamships Mohongo, Orizaba, 
Senator and Ancon ; the propellers, Los Angeles, San Luis, Santa Cruz, Mon- 
terey, Gypsy, Donald, Salinas, Idaho, Vincent and Constantine. 

The steamer Josephine, a stern-wheeler of about eighty tons burden, was set 
afloat at Seattle, in 1878, and a week later the Gem was launched from an 
adjoining yard. By a singular coincidence both steamers met their fate five 
years later at nearly the same time. The Gem was luiilt for Capt. George W. 
Gove who used her mostly for towing. She was destroyed by fire off Applctree 
Cove, February 7, 1883, when five people lost their lives. The Josephine was 
constructed for the Skagit River trade by J. W. Smith at Lake's Yard, North 
Seattle. Her boiler exploded January 16, 1S83. killing eight people. The hull 
was comparatively uninjured and was repaired in March and purchased by I brothers. 

While I'uget Sound was not yet engaged in exporting wheat her foreign lum- 
ber fleet in 1877 was as large as the Columbia River grain fleet. In the assess- 
niciit roll for the year the value of the fleet owned l)y the mill companies was 
given as ^5318,300. rei)resented by thirty-one vessels. During the year 1872 
cargoes were sent from Seattle and other mill jrorts with sixty-five vessels engaged 
in the trade. 

The story of the years that followed is one of remarkable advancement and 
steady expansion in Seattle's trade. An exporting business, which at first was 
limited mostly to cargoes of lumber and coal, extended to grain export and all 
the lines of general commerce with the world. Year after year Seattle's fleets 
increased until the Queen City drew down the honors from Portland, which had 
been recognized as the center of commerce in the Northwest. 

I!y 1880, 40.000.000 feet of lumber were cut and in i8go, 200,000,000 feet 
were being sawed at Seattle. The production of coal from the mines in the- 
vicinity of Seattle by 1890 were 488,306 tons an<l the exports of coal by that 
year had reached a value ai)i)roximately equal to the value of the lumber outinit 
in 1888 when the first shijjnients of wheat, lumber and other products had 
reaciu-d the sum of $3,803,337. The struggling pioneer hamlet of the early '50s 
had becf)me a frontier town of 4,533 population in 1880. The year after the 
great fire of 1889 it had become a city of 43.000 population. Year after year 
new steamers and sailing vessels were added in Seattle's shipyards to meet the 
growing demands. And at last, when the steamer I'orlland arrived from the 
North with the first news of the Klondike strike, Seattle was prepared to take 
advantage of the good fortune which sent her name to every corner of the 

The story of how Tacoma was located as the terminus of the Northern Pacific 
Raiiroaid, and of how that coqjoration used every means within its reach to put 
Seattle off the map as a center of trade, is told in another chapter. In 1880 
Seattle found itself in a position where it had to fight for every inch to main- 
tam its supremacy over Tacoma as the shipping center of Puget Sound. The 
Northern Pacific, in the midst of its financial difficulties, had found time to 
make it as uncomfortable as possible. .Anyone going from this city to Portland 
had to stay over night in Tacoma, both going and coming, as the Northern Pacific 


controlled the steamers on the Sound and arranged their schedules with a view 
of forcing every possible port no matter how small, in favor of Tacoma, the 
city owned by the officers of the company. 

In 1880 the Xorthern I'acitic built its first vessel, the steamer Frederick K. 

The ne.xt year, when Henry \'illard became president of the Xorthern Pacific, 
the Pacific Coast Steamship Company sold to the Mllard Syndicate the steam- 
ships Eureka, Idaho, Dakota, State of California. Alexander Duncan, Senator, 
Orizaba, Ancon, Los Angeles and the Queen of the Pacific. 

The Oregon Railway & Na\igation Company, which had secured practical con- 
trol of transportation on the Columbia and \Mllamette rivers, turned its atten- 
tion to Puget Sound the same year and in May purchased the Starr line of 
steamers including the Xorth Pacific, George E. Starr, Annie Stewart, Isabel, 
Alida and Otter. The company at once reinforced this fleet with the Welcome, 
which was sent from the Columbia in tow of the Tacoma. 

The completion of the railroad from Portland up the Columbia River by the 
Oregon Railway & Xavigation Company, in 1882, left several surplus steamers 
on the Columbia and Willamette rivers withottt employment. The development 
of the Puget Sound country was proceeding with giant strides and offered a 
field for several idle steamers. The first of the fleet to arrive was the Idaho, 
which came around in February. She was followed by the City of Ouincy, in 
Jtme, the Washington, in Septemljer, the Emma Hayward, in October and the 
Gazelle, in November. The incorporation of the Washington Steamboat Com- 
pany at Utsalady was completed about the same time with D. B. Jackson as 
president; D. S. Jacobs, secretary; Hiram J. Olney, manager. The company 
started business with the Daisy, Nellie and City of Ouincy and later the Wash- 
ington. From this small beginning grew the Puget Sound & Alaska Steamship 
Company. The Washington was placed on the Bellingham Bay route, and the 
Oregon Railway & Xavigation Company started the \\'elcome after her making 
a rate of 50 cents for freight and passengers from Seattle. 

One of the most important events for Seattle in the year 1883 was the organ- 
ization of the Canadian Pacific Xavigation Company, Limited. This transaction, 
which came with the approaching completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, was 
a consolidation of Commodore John Irving's pioneer line and the Hudson's Bay 
Company's line. The company took charge of the steamers R. P. Rithet, Prin- 
cess Louise, William Irving, Western Slope, Enterprise, Reliance, Otter, Maude 
and Gertrude. Later it added the Yosemite, then one of the fastest steamers 
in northwestern waters. The company built up an excellent trade with Seattle 
and the coast as far north as Alaska. The old fleet was succeeded by elegant 
modern steamers imtil the company has become one of the most powerful in the 
Seattle trade. j ' 

Lumber and coal from the Seattle district supplied an immense fleet of sail- i 
ing vessels in this year. Among the new vessels launched here were the schoon- ' ; 
ers Dora, Bluhm, Rosalind, Corona, Carrie B. Lake and barkentine Skagit. \ ^ 

The Canadian Pacific Navigation Company encountered spirited opposition | i 
in 1884 with the incorporation of the Peoples Steam Xavigation Company, ] 
incorporated in May with a capital stock of $100,000. The new company pur- | 
chased the old steamer Amelia, built in 1863. 


The Pacific Navigation Company was organized in May of the same year at 
Tacoma and engaged Capt. J. J. Holland to construct the stern-wheeler, Skagit 
Chief, for the local mail route between Tacoma and Seattle. 

A large number of steam and sailing craft came into existence in Seattle in 
ii<c'>8 and the Iuni!)er and coal trade gave eniployniont to the greatest iiumhcr 
of vessels which had yet appeared. 

In spite of the persistent attempt to shut Seattle off in favor of Tacoma, the 
traffic in fa\or of the city which was made the object of attack was apparent from 
the customs records of June i6th. Of the seventy vessels which were loading at 
Sound Ports on that day Seattle claimed seventeen with a total tonnage of 22,993, 
compared with eight in Tacoma with a tonnage of only 9,113. The vessels at 
Seattle were loading coal. Of those at Tacoma four were loading coal and four 

On December 24, 1S88, the first ferry boat to run regularly between Seattle 
and West Seattle made her maiden trip. She was called the City of Seattle and 
was a rebuilt boat of the West Seattle Land & Improvement Company. Other 
steamers added to the Seattle fleet were the Delta, E. W. Purdy, J. I"-. Boyden. 
Halys and Jayhawker. 

On September 17, 1889, the Puget Sound & Alaska Steamship Company, 
successor of the Washington Steamboat Company was organized with head- 
quarters at Utsalad}'. The stockholders were D. B. Jackson and Watson C. 
Squire of Seattle; Charles H. Prescott, Isaac W. Anderson and George Brown 
of Tacoma ; Colgate Hoyt and J. M. Bookman of New York. As in the old cor- 
poration Jackson was the prime mover. Believing that his fleet was inadequate 
he went East and purchased tin- Hudson River Steamer City of Kingston .ind 
placed an order for a sister ship, the City of Seattle. 

At Tacoma, the Pacific Navigation Com])any launched the stern-wheel 
steamer. State of Washington, which made her trial trip from Tacoma to Seattle 
in one hour, thirty-five minutes, breaking all jjrexious records. At Tacoma, 
also Nelson Beiniett constructed the stern-wheeler, Fairhaven, to run on the 
Bellingham Bay route. 

The year 1890 brought about a radical change in steamboating on Puget 
Sound. It brought an addition of fully a million dollars' worth of steamers to 
Soutid waters, and it established once for all Seattle's supremacy as the com- 
mercial center of Puget Sound. 

W ith the first of the year came the arrival of the two fine new steamers of 
the Puget Sound & Alaska Steamship Company, the City of Kingston and the 
City of Seattle. The City of Kingston, built at Wilmington. Delaware, was 
brought through the Straits of Magellan in sixty-one days and began running 
on the Sound March 13th. Her sister shi|), built at Philadelphia, under orders 
from D. B. Jackson, at a cost of $225,000, came to Seattle from the East a little 

.Now. when Tacoma and ( )lympia were making an active bid to attract from 
Seattle the rich commerce the mosquito fleet was bringing to and from the farms 
on the neighboring rivers, John Leary came to the aid of his city by organiz- 
ing a steamboat company and building from his own resources a handsome 

steamer ;it that time by long t)dds the most ambitious craft of its kind on Puget 
ra. I- i 


Sound. He called it the Bailey Gatzert out of compliment to his friend who also ' ' 
played his part in the building of Seattle. 

The Seattle Steam Navigation & Transportation Company was incorporated \ 
at Seattle, May 31st, by John Leary, Jacob Forth, lulward Xeufekler, W. R. 
Ballard and H. G. Struve, w'ith capital stock of $500,000. The Bailey ( latzert, I 
the finest stern-wheeler on the Stsund, was launched at Salmon Bay, Xovember 
22(\. from the shipyard of John J. Holland, in the presence of more than a thou- 
sand enthusiastic people of Seattle. She was 20<S feet long, 32 feet beam and | 
had engines of 1,300 horse power. She cost Lear)' $125,000 but she dro\e the | 
competing craft from the seas and maintained Seattle's prestige. i 

The stern-wheeler Greyhound, which became the property of the Seattle iv 
Tacoma Navigation Company, also appeared on the Sound the same year, .'^^lie 
was built almost exclusively for passenger traffic and showed remarkable speed, 
indulging in some lively races on the Tacoma-Seattle rotite. 

The trade on Lake Washington had developed to such an e.xtent by 1890 j 
that Capt. Charles Kraft built the fine twin-screw propeller Mary Kraft for the | 
traffic at a cost of $13,000. llut in September, 1891, she was burned to the water's ! 
edge. The City of Latona was another lake boat, built in 1890, for the Lake ^ 
Union trade. < 

The Snoqualmie, the first fire boat in the Northwest, was also launched at ,' 
Seattle in 1890. j|; 

The Columbia River & Puget -Sound Navigation Company w-as the first of j 
a number of enterprises which were organized on Puget Sound in 1891. The ] 
company was incorporated at Seattle, in February, with U. B. Scott, president ; | 
John Leary, vice president ; L. B. Seeley, second vice president ; E. \\'. Creighton, I 
secretary and treasurer; E. A, Seeley and Z. J. Hatch. It absorbed the steam- 
ers Bailey Gatzert, Fleetwood and Telephone and built the new steamer Flyer. , 
The Bailey Gatzert was sent around to run on the Columbia and Astoria route. 
The business of Puget Sound was handled by the steamers Fleetwood and 
Flyer, the latter being the fastest propeller constructed in the Northwest thus far. 
Capt. Harry Struve, of Seattle, was the first in command and handled her on 
the Tacoma and .Seattle route. The entire upper works of the Flyer were 
destroyed by fire in 1892, but were rebuilt with larger and finer cabins. She 
reappeared on the route again in June, 1892, making four round trips a day 
between .Seattle and Tacoma at a speed of twenty-eight miles in an hour and 
a half. 

The Seattle and Tacoma Navigation Company was incorporated October 
31, 1891, by Henry Carstens, Claude Troupe and Frank W. Goodhue, purchas- 
ing the steamer Greyhound from Captain Troupe. 

In 1894 Capt. D. B. Jackson followed his former maritime successes, the 
Washington Steamboat Company and the Puget Sound & Alaska Steamship 
Company, with the Northwestern Steamship Company, securing the Rosalie, 
George E. Starr and the Idaho. The first board of directors was composed of 
D. B. Jackson, C. F. Clapp, A. A. Denny, R. H. Denny, N. H. Latimer, David 
Gilmore and D. K. Howard. The object of the company was to carry on steam- 
boating independent of any railroad, but in harmony with all of them. All of 
the company's steamers continued to enjoy good business. 

After Seattle had made itself sure of its own supremacy on Puget .Sound 




-;i ; 


waters and followiiit; tlu' (kljiiilc connection of Scatlle witli ihc worlil liy ilic 
atlvent of the (ireat Northern railway, came a jieriod of financial <le])ression 
which bore hard upon the city. It began in 1893 and with each succeeding 
year the load became heavier until by 1897 ''ic city's builders were almost ready 
10 give u|) the struggle. '1 lun t)iit of the \orth crinic the Portland with the news 
of gold. 

The news found ."-icatlU- ready to make most of lier fortune and l)ring pros- 
jjcrity to herself. How the big men of the city brought the riili Alaska trade 
here is a story which deserves a chapter of its own. 




The student, seeking the underlying causes for the growth of Seattle from a I 
small, although important, piling and lumber camp into the present magnificent j 
city, the metropolis of the North-Pacific countrj' and the leading shipping point ', 
of the entire Western Coast of America, soon discovers that coal and transpor- j 
tation have contributed no small part toward this success. The town on Elliott i 
Bay struggled along for some twenty years before coal really became a factor , 
in its growth and at the end of that time was of very little more importance than ' 
half a dozen other lumber towns on the Sound. ; 

The citizens of Seattle had from the first hoped that their town was to take j 
the lead of all others in the territory and this hope, it seemed, would be realized 1 
through the building of the Northern Pacific. However, when that road an- '■ 
nounced its intention of making Tacoma the terminus, this move would no doubt ! 
have put an end to the growth of Seattle for many years had not at the same 
time the King County coal fields begun to attract the attention of outside cap- 
italists who had seen the ships arrive at the wharves of San Francisco loaded 
down with the best grade of coal yet discovered on the coast. 

The casual reader, perusing the history of the industry, is at once struck 
with the peculiar fact that from the time of the first discovery of coal by Doctor 
Bigelow in 1853, to the commencement of the real development of the industry, 
a period of some twenty years elapsed during which little was done toward gath- 
ering in the wealth which nature had placed under the hills of this county. This 
too at a time when the settlement was greatly in need of some great permanent 
stabilizing industry. The people knew the coal was there, thev also knew that 
its mining would mean growth and prosperity and wealth ; but this coal was 
back in the hills where it would be necessary to build roads and trams over 
which to bring it to salt water where ships could be loaded. 

Efforts were made to interest San Francisco capital in the enterprise, but 
these plans, after progressing to the hopeful stage, would fail. Some of the 
causes of this failure were to be found right here at home — certain people always 
making an unfavorable report upon the projects for which money was desired. 
Another thing which retarded development was the discovery of the Mount 
Diablo field in California just at a time when work was really getting under 
way in King County. Although the Mount Diablo coal was of low grade, the 
proximity of the fields to San Francisco gave it a big advantage over the 
higher grade King County product. Blount Diablo furnished San Francisco 206,- 
255 tons of coal in 1874, while Seattle sold but 9,027 tons on that market. In 
1876 the Mount Diablo output was reduced to 108,078 tons and Seattle sold 
05,314 tons to San Francisco buyers, this too, in spite of a strong clique of Cali- 
fornia capitalists who, realizing the possibilities tied up in the King County 



coal field, were determined to prevent its development if possible; or, failing in 
this, to hold up that development until their own city could firmly establish her- 
self as the commercial center of the Pacific Coast of America. 

Between the San Francisco clique and the Northern Pacific, the growth of 
Seattle was retarded. Coal, however, happens to be a commodity which does 
not deteriorate so long as it is left in the ground — and Seattle waited until she 
became strong enough to force development. 

When the people of Seattle, on that ]May day of 1873, started in to build a 
railroad across the mountains, they hoped to solve two of the big problems 
which then confronted the city and prevented its rapid growth. One of these 
was connections by rail with the outside world ; the other was quicker and cheaper 
means of bringing coal from the mines to salt water. By the end of the year 
1875 ^'i*^ mines at Renton were able to ship their coal by rail and a short time 
after the road had reached the Newcastle mine and had made available the vast 
quantity sture*! in those rich hills. 

The coal road did not stop there but pushed on up the Cedar River, reached 
iiUo the Ravensdale — Black Diamond — Franklin field where other rich beds 
were discovered and opened during the decade following 1880. 

Fortunes have been made out of King County coal, but the usual fate of 
the ])ioncer discoverer is seen in the history of the mines — most of the wealth 
jjroduced went to the men who later obtained possession of them and, because 
of their money, were able to do the development work — the original locater being 
forced to step aside and see others reap the benefit of his early toil. 

I'rom the earliest days of the white man in the country, coal was known to 
exist in Western Washington. Doctor Tolmie, Hudson's Bay factor at I-'ort 
Xis(|ually. rcjiorls having found coal on the Cowlitz River in 1S33, and savs tiie 
Indians often brought specimens from the hills toward Mount Rainier during 
the early days; but the exact date of its discover)' is not known. 

Coal mining in the state may be said to date from 1848 when small outcro])- 
pings of lignite were worked to some extent along the banks of the Cowlitz. 
I'ioncer explorers who went up the rivers during the early '50s, kept their eyes 
0])en for jjossible coal discoveries, and rcjjorted outcrop])ing beds in various 
])arts of the country. In 1851 Ca])tain Tattle, while hunting timber for the 
Hudson's Bay Company, discovered the vein of coal underlying the i)resent City 
of Hellingham. .-\s this coal mine presented no difficult transportation prolilem 
it was soon opened, and for some twenty-five years was a producer. The qual- 
ity was very low, and when, in 1878. the mine became flooded with water follow- 
ing a lire, it was given up and has remained closed ever since. It was from this 
mine that the first cargoes of coal were shipped from the Puget Sound district 
to San Francisco. 

The King County coal fields were discovered by Dr. M. lligelow. who while 
learing land on his donation claim on Black River, not far from the present 
southern limits of Seattle, accidentally uncovered a bed of coal in 1853. The 
mine was oi)ened by Bigelow, Fanjoy and Eaton, the two latter being killeil 
in the Yakima \'alley during the Indian war of 1855-56. The mine was worked 
in a small way, and, it is said, one schooner load was sent to San Francisco 
where it sold for $30 jjer ton. The demand froiu the California market was 
so great that Doctor Bigelow was offered $24,000 for the mine, an offer he 


could not accept because at this time the property was bonded to Capt. Wilhani 
Webster for $20,000. The Indian war put an end to operations at this mine, 
which was not reopened at the close of hostilities. 

E. B. .Andrews came out of the Squak \'alley in the fall of 1862 carrying on 
his back a flour sack of coal which he had dug out of the hillside above the 
present Town of Issaquah. Taking the coal to the blacksmith shop of W. W. 
Perkins, Andrews asked the blacksmith to give the coal a test in his forge and 
see if it was any good. Perkins did so, finding it satisfactory as fuel. He and 
Andrews formed a working partnership and during the winter of 1862-63 
they took out several loads which, given a test by the government steamer Shu- 
brick, was found to be a good grade of steam producing coal. Like all the 
pioneer coal mine operators, Andrews and Perkins found that the development 
of their mine and the transportation of its ]iroduct to market required more 
capital than they could command, so the property remained undeveloped until 
the completion of the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad in 4888. 

The Seattle Gazette for August 11, 1863, says that Andrews had opened 
three veins, one above the other, within a distance of one-fourth mile up the 
mountain side and that these veins ranged from 12 to 20 feet in thickness. 
Workmen were reported to be engaged in opening a road from the mines to 
Lake .*>animamish, also that the coal was to be hauled to the lake and then 
shipped on barges to Seattle by way of the Lake Sammamish, Lake Washing- 
ton, Black and Duwamish River route. In December H. liutler had become 
interested in the mine to the e.xtent of inducing San Francisco capitalists to come 
to Seattle and investigate the jjroposition. These men, Craig, Aiken and Bigley, 
\isited the mine and reported "a bed of coal unsurpassed by anything of the kind 
in any part of the world."' 

In the fall of 1863 Edwin Richardson was surveying out a township on the 
eastern side of Lake Washington when he accidentally discovered a bed of coal 
on the north bank of what has since been known as Coal Creek. At that time 
coal was riot considered as a mineral by the United States Government, and coal 
lands were subject to entry under the pre-emption laws. With the announcement 
of the new discovery at Coal Creek prospectors were soon in the district and had 
filed on a number of claims. Among these were Exlwin Richardson, Ira Woodin, 
Finley Campbell, William Perkins, P. H. Lewis, Josiah Settle, C. B. Bagley and 
others. With two districts being developed in the county, Seattle now commenced 
to "talk coal" in earnest. The Gazette printed maps of the coal fields, and active 
development commenced. 

While the pioneer coal mine owners were men without large bank accounts, 
they did have the physical strength to go at the development work with pick and 
shovel, which they did. The work moved slowly for the first few years, but in 
1865-66 the people of Seattle commenced to realize that they had great wealth 
in the coal mines right at their doors and that development work must be hurried 
along. Rev. George F. Whitworth, a man who had had considerable experience 
in eastern coal mining regions, became interested in the matter and moved from 
Olympia to Seattle in 1866. He, together with Rev. Daniel Bagley, P. H. Lewis, 
John Ross and Selucius Garfielde, organized and incorporated the Lake Washing- 
ton Coal Company, which company opened the first tunnel on the hillside above 
Coal Creek and brought out some of the coal, it being carried out in sacks. 




The United States Revenue cutter Lincoln was in the harbor at this lime 
and some of this coal was given to the captain with a request that he give it a 
trial. One of the amusing things about this test is that the captain reported 
the new coal created too much heat and came near melting down the smoke stacks 
of his vessel. This may have been hard on smoke stacks but it was great news 
for the owners of the mines and they were so much encouraged with the report 
that they at once put men to work on a road from the lake shore to the mines. 

A light draft barge was built and arrangements were completed for moving 
the coal to* the bay by way of Black River. The coal was brought down the 
road with wagons, loaded on the barge and started for Seattle. 

The future looked bright to the mine owners, but the barge grounded in the 
shallow waters of lllack River and caused trouble. The coal was finally landed 
I in Hinds, Stone & Company's dock and was advertised for sale at $8.00 per ton. 
This firm had recently constructed a wharf at the rear of their store on the 
west side of First .Avenue South, midway between Washington and Mn'm streets, 
and had built up quite a shipping center there. The customs officers seized the 
barge because it was operating in salt water without a license — a little matter of 
detail which the coal barons had overlooked. Peace was arranged upon the 
payment of a fine and the barge went back after more coal, which was in great 
demand. Handicapped by a lack of funds the mine owners realized they had 
a ver>- hard problem to solve. There was lots of money in coal, they had the 
coal, but they did not have the capital with which to build the roads, barges, 
cars and tugs necessary to trans|)ort that coal to ihe an.xiously waiting market. 

Realizing that the (le\elopnient of its mines was a task requiring more money 
than its stockholders could command, ihr Lake Washington Coal Company, in 
the sjjring of 1868, entered into an agreement with Ca[>t. C. F. Winsor for the 
sale of the property. Captain Winsor, it was understood, was acting for .San 
Francisco parties who had large capital to invest in the Seattle coal fields. After 
a long summer of inactivity the officials of the company learned that he was 
merely a broker who had tried to make a fat fee out of the sale, but had over- 
loaded the deal with commissions and could not induce Jiis jjcople to invest. 

During the sunmicr word was received in Seattle that Captain Winsor had 
come to the .Sound and that his Ijoat was then at Olympia discharging cargo. 
.\s Seattle was not at that time visited by this line of steamers, and the company 
wished to know what the captain was doing with regard to the sale, it was 
decided to send a party out to see him. Rev. (ieorge F. Whitworth. P. H. Lewis 
and C. P.. liagley accordingly rowed across the bay to Alki, where a fire was 
built and i)rei)arations made to intercei)t Cajjtain Winsor's boat when it came 
along during the night. The boat was late in getting away from 01ym])ia and it 
was near morning before it was seen coming down the .Sounrl on its way to San 
I'rancisco. The steamer was held while the j)arty discussed the coal question, 
which goes to show that schedules were somewhat elastic in those days. In San 
I'rancisco some interest was awakened in the King County coal fields, and T. A. 
I'dake. a young engineer, was sent to the Sound in the summer of iSTiS, with 
instructions to make an investigation of the field. 1 '.lake's report, whicii was 
never published, shows him to have been a very far sighted o'oserver. In speak- 
ing of the Coal Creek (Newcastle) field he says: "The lower one alone of 
these three be<ls will probably furnish a greater mass of good coal in a given 


length and breadth than any mine yet worked on the Pacific Coast of America. 
Jt will not be easy to overestimate the future importance of the Seattle coal held 
to the commercial and productive interests of the Pacific Coast ; notwithstanding 
the heavy otitlay which will be reqtiired to open llie mines upon a proper scale, 
and to put the coal in the market." 

Blake's report was filed away ; the Seattle people were to be allowed to 
develop their mines without the assistance of California capital. Seattle people 
were accustomed to having their projects turned down by outsiders, and they also 
knew how to take one of these rejected projects and make it successful; so they 
organized a new mining company under the name of the Seattle Coal Company, 
incorporated February i, 1S70, and at the same time a handling company under 
ihe name of the Seattle Coal and Transportation Company, the latter to have 
charge of delivering the output from the mine at Newcastle to the ships on 
lllliott Uay. The Seattle Coal Company succeeded the old Lake Washington 
Company, the main stockholders being Reul Robinson, Amos Hurst, Albro M. 
Pringle, Martin L. Chamberlain, Edwin Fells, Thomas Flannagan, George H. 
Greer, A. N. Merrick, George F. Whitworth and C. B. Bagley. This corpora- 
tion bought the interest of the old company, except that of Lewis and Ross, and 
now owned the 480 acres comprising the claims of Edwin Richardson, Josiah 
Settle and C. B. Bagley. There were 10,000 shares of stock, the value of which 
was placed at $1,000,000. 

'J"he market for its product open, this product tested and approved, its mines 
in workable shape with tunnels run and output guaranteed, the new owners felt 
sure of success, provided the transportation problem could be solved. It was 
decided to move the coal through Lakes Union and Washington by barges 
carrying the cars, which would be run over tram roads to be built between the 
lakes and also from the south end of Lake Union to the bunkers to be erected 
at the foot of Pike Street. The transportation company, composed of Robinson, 
Hurst and Peter Bartell, started work on this line in the spring of 1871, and 
every man who wanted to work was given a chance at railroad building. There 
were no steam shovels in those days and the road builders went at the job with 
pick and shovel and wheelbarrow — btit they finished the road and moved coal 
over it for many years. 

The cars were loaded with coal in the mine, let down the long inclined tram 
to Lake Washington, where they started on the first part of their barge trip. 
At Union Bay they were moved from the barge to the portage tram, over which 
they were hauled to Lake Union to be again loaded onto a barge for a trip to 
the south end of the lake, where they were again on the tram rails bound for 
the bunkers at the foot of Pike Street. These tram rails were six inches wide, 
made of wood and surfaced with strap iron. The car wheels were spread out 
so as to reduce wear, as each car had a capacity of two tons. The coal was 
handled eleven times in its trip from mine to bunker, the transporting cost 
amounting to about $5.00 per ton. The company spent $25,000 in preparing 
to handle the coal, and after several months of operation sold out to Charles D. 
Shattuck and S. Dinsmore, of San Francisco, who in turn sold the business, 
after having made several improvements, to Osgood & Remington, who operated 
the line until 1880, when it, together with the Seattle & Walla Walla Railroad, 






iwjscd under the coiurol of Henry Villard and the Oregon ]ni])ro\cnKiit 

For two years this railroad was operated without a franchise from the city 
council, that body approving the franchise ordinance, which was Ordinance No. 
55. on May 7, 1874. Almost two years later the Seattle Coal & Transportation 
Company was granted a right of way for the line which had then been in 
operation for four years. The right of way was granted in Ordinance \"o. 85, 
approved by the council January 25, 1876. These were the first railroad 
ordinances ever passed by Seattle, and to the fifth council, composed of Jolm 
Collins, mayor, and John Leary, Robert Abrams, J. S. Anderson, Isaiah Waddell, 
James McKinley and William Meydenbauer, councilmcn, belongs the honor of 
passing Ordinance No. 55, while the seventh council, which approved the right 
of way ordinance, was composed of Bailey Gatzert, mayor; Benjamin Mur])hy, 
G. W. Hall, Josiah Settle, Isaiah Waddell, J. \<. Robbins, J. H. Hall and 
John Leary. 

While under the management of Dinsmore the first railway excursion ever 
run in the Puget Sound country was conducted over the line from the I'ike 
Street bunkers to Lake Union. The locomotive, called "The Bodie," was brought 
up from San Francisco early in the year 1872. Upon its arrival the company 
issued an invitation to everybody to come and take a ride. Nearly everybody 
in Seattle had worked to build the road and now they were to have a free ride 
jjehind the first locomotive to toot its whistle amid the dark recesses of a I'uget 
Sound forest. In reporting the excursion the Intelligencer of March 25, 1872, 

"Friday last was decidedly a holiday in this city, owing to the op])ortunity 
afforded everyone to indulge in the novelty of a free ride behind the first loco- 
motive that ever whistled and snorted and dashed through the dense forests 
surrounding the waters of Puget Sound. Business in town was not exactly 
suspended, but it might very near as w-ell have been, as an excursion on Dins- 
more's Railroad, connecting Union Lake with the Sound, with its constantly 
ileparting and returning train of cars during the day, seemed uppermost in the 
minds of all, and pretty much monopolized every other consideration." 'jhc 
locomotive and its eight new coal cars were kept moving from 11 :oo A. M. until 
everybody in town had had a ride at about 5:00 P. M., the roimd tri]i being 
made in about half an hour. 

By the end of May the com|)any had finished its lung trestle to deep water anil 
^liips were receiving their coal direct from the cars into which it had been 
loaded at the mine. This reduced the cost of handling and by the end of Sep- 
tember the sixty men employed in the mines and the fifteen in the transportation 
department were turning froin 75 to 100 tons of coal daily into the bunkers 
and ships at the foot of Pike Street. The company was operating ninety-two 
cars, with more under construction, had just finished the construction of twenty- 
five houses at the mine and was preparing to greatly increase the output. 

The first cargo of Newcastle coal to be carried away from Seattle consisted 
of 405 tons, which was shipped to San Francisco on board the Bark Moncynick 
in the year 1870. The Intelligencer in the early part of the year 1880 gives the 
following figures covering coal exports in tons from Seattle for the previous 
ten year period: 1871. 4,918: 1872, 14,830; 1873, 13.572; 1874, 9.027: 1875, 


70,157; 1876, 104,556; 1877, 112,734; 1878, 128,582; 1879, 132,263. Of this 
790.639 tons the Renton Mine had suppHed 33,419 tons, while the Talbot had 
furnished 23,426 tons. Some idea of the importance of the Newcastle mine 
may be obtained when it is remembered that all the rest of this coal had been 
dug out of its beds. During the month of December, 1879, the following 
vessels loaded at Seattle coal bunkers : The ships Eldorado, Alaska, Two 
Brothers; Bark J. 1). Bell; Barkentine Tam ( J'Shanter, and the schooners 
Excelsior and Reporter. The greater part of this exported coal went to San 
iM'ancisco. not to exceed fifteen thousand tons being divided between other ports, 
one of which was Honolulu. 

The trestle work and bunkers of the Seattle Coal & Transportation Comi)any 
were the most prominent objects on the water front in 1877. These works 
represented an investment of $30,000 and extended into the bay a distance of 
800 feet. On June i6th, while the \\'estern Shore and \\'ashington Libby were 
lying at the chutes loading coal, the entire structure suddenly fell into the bay, 
teredoes having eaten oft the piles which about eleven months before had been 
driven into the mud at the bottom of the bay. Although the bunkers contained 
some 1,450 tons of coal at the time, the boats escaped with minor injuries. 

From 1880, until 1887, the mine was a heavy producer, the output running 
from 118,742 tons in 1883 to 231,816 in 1885. 

By the end of the year 1883 these mines were producing 55 per cent of the 
total coal produced in the territory and 22 per cent of the total for the Pacific 
Coast. The output for 1890 was 159,524 tons. .Annual production continued 
well above the 100,000 ton mark until 1900, when the mine was closed down 
and remained unproductive for several years. It is again in the producing 
class, being credited with 244,778 tons for the year 1914. It is the deepest coal 
mine in the state and has in all things justified the report of Blake; also that 
of (joodycar, who, in 1873. wrote: "They were, both of them, beautiful beds 
to work. Their thickness was good ; their dip was right ; their roofs and floors 
good; there were no faults; their coal itself was good and hard and clean; there 
was no pumping or hoisting, and hardly any timbering was needed." 

Labor troubles in 1886 reduced the output to 22,453 tons, and in 1887 the 
hoisting works at the mouth of the mine caught fire. This fire spread into the 
mine, where it burned for some months, necessitating the closing down of the 
works. .-\t that time the mine was producing from 150 to 200 tons a day, 
demand was strong and prices were high, coal selling at the Seattle docks for 
$5.00 per ton. a price $1.00 per ton higher than had been obtained at any time 
during the previous ten years. Notwithstanding the labor troubles and fires 
the output of the Newcastle Mine had reached the grand total of 1,740,000 tons 
l)y the end of the year 1887. 

On January 24. 1867, the Territorial Legislature passed an act incorporating 
the Coal Creek Road Company and giving it authority to build a rail or tram 
road from a point on Lake Washington, near the outlet of Coal Creek, to a 
point about three miles eastward in section 27, township 24 north, range 5 east 
of the Willamette meridian. The act gave the company the right to appropriate 
a strip of land 100 feet wide for the entire length of the proposed road, together 
with such lands as it might need for warehouses at terminals, and provided 
that no other road should be laid out within fifty feet. The company, composed 


of \\ illiam \\ . I'erkins, John Denny, II. L. \'esler, John J. McGilvra, C. J. Xoyes, 
C'. 11. Hale and l.ewi.s C. Gunn, was incorporatctl with a capital stock of $5,000, 
with the privilege of increasing the same to $500,000. 11. L. Vesler was presi- 
dent and Gardner Kellogg secretary. 

.Althoiifjh tlie Legislature had given this company what amounted to almost 
an exclusive franchise up the Coal Creek \alley, which was so narrow in places 
as 10 make the building of a rival line a physical impossibility, nothing was done 
by the comijany until in August, wiien it advertised for bids for the construction 
of the road. The date set for opening these bids was August 20th, but if any 
were submitted they must ha\e been unsatisfactory, as the company again 
ad\ertised, setting the date forward to Sc|)tembcr jd, witii tlic same result on 
that date. 

Nothing more was heard of ilu' (.unipaiiy until Xo\eniljer 4tli, when it held 
a meeting of its stockholders. Tlie meeting was well attendee!, Vesler, Denny 
and McGilvra being elected directors. The company spent considerable money 
on the project and built its road to its Coal Creek claims, bringing out some 
coal over the line, but the enterprise was not successful, and by the end of the 
winter of 1867-68 was in bad financial condition. Its stockholders failed to 
meet their payments, the Intelligencer of April 25 stating that the company 
had sold six shares of stock for non-|)aynient of assessments. Something like 
S^ had been spent and lost. During the latter ]iart of .\\m\ the road was 
.^old to the same San Francisco parties who had bought the Lake Washington 
I'oal Company properties, but as this afterward proved to be a brokerage deal 
with no money behind it, the Coal Creek Road stockholders failed to realize 
anything out of their investment. 

I lad the money wasted on this project been invested in i)roviding iransport;i- 
tiun from the Newcastle Mine to Seattle, the history of the coal industry in 
King County would have been vastly different from what it is. It could have 
remained in the ownership of Seattle i)eo[)le and would not have ])assed to San 
l-rancisco capitalists, who later furnished the money for its development and 
absorbed the profits. Seattle learned her lesson ; her people saw the danger 
of dividing their forces and from that time onward were to be found united 
whenever the task to be accom|)lishe(l was of sufficient magnitude to require 
>uch united action. 

In 1873 E. M. Smithers ])rospected the country around the present Town 
iif Kenton. The streams showed signs of coal and Mr. Smithers was .satisfied 
that beds of it existed in the neighborhood. After devoting considerable time 
to the district he had about made up his mind to give up the search when he 
found coal lloat in one of the small streams. Following this float up stream he 
came to a place beyond which the coal seemed to be absent, so ascending the 
bank he jirospected the hillside and found the bed with almost the first stroke of 
his pick. Together with T. I!. Morris and C. D. Shattuck, Mr. Smithers 
organized the Renton Coal Company, and the next year the mine became a 
liroducing ])roi)erty. The company built two miles of railroad to Black River, 
down which stream the coal was taken on barges to the Duwamish and to Seattle. 
More railroad was built in 1873, and in 1876 the Seattle & Walla Walla reached 
the mine and the water route was abandoned. The mine was ;i continuous 
producer until 1886. when it was closed, remaining unproductise until i8<)5. 


when the Renton Cooperative Coal Company obtained possession of the property 
and opened up sonae new beds. The mine became the property of the Seattle 
Electric Company in, 1901, since which time it has been one of the heavy pro- 
ducers of the county. 

The Denny-Renton Clay & Coal Company also operate a mine at Renton, 
the output being consumed in the brick plant which the company owns at that 

The Patton JMine at Renton was opened in 1872, but has been abandoned. 

Before the coming of the railroad the Renton and Talbot mines passed 
through several years of transportation troubles, during which their Ijarges 
turned turtle in the river or bay, their steamboats "snagged'' and the coal sank 
into the water. On October 14, 1874, the Renton Coal Company launched 
the little steamer Addie from the shipyard of \Mlliam Hammond at the foot 
of Cherry Street. The launching of the Addie was celebrated by the firing of 
cannon and the blowing of all the steam whistles which the town had at the 
time. She measured 110 feet long, 19 feet beam, with a depth of hold of 4 feet 
6 inches, and was placed under the command of Capt. H. H. Hyde. \\ ithin 
a short time Hammond had finished a large barge and the Addie commenced 
her work of towing coal. Several other barges were built for this service 
during the fall, each of them being So feet long by 20 feet wide, with a capacity 
of eighty tons. 

Early in the spring of 1S74 John Collins. J. V. IMcXaught. John Leary and 
M. Padden opened the Talbot Mine at Renton under the superintendency of the 
latter. Development work was prosecuted with vigor and within a year the 
company had driven a tunnel 16 feet wide and 11 feet high for a distance ot 450 
feet, exposing a vein of coal ten feet across the face. They had obtained 320 
acres of land and also had built a mile of railroad from the mine opening to the 
landing on Black River, where coal bunkers were being erected. 

The addition of the Renton and Talbot mines to those of the Newcastle 
district at this time was a most fortunate circumstance, as Seattle coal opera- 
tions were now able to furnish employment for many of the men wliich the 
panic of 'y^ had made idle. Yesler made extensions to his wharf and the 
Renton and Talbot companies built large bunkers there ; Wilson & Sons and 
other iron workers were kept busy casting mine car wheels : the mills were 
sawing lumber, and by the close of the year 1875 Seattle's water front was a 
busy place, her citizens were at work and her merchants were doing a good 
business, the holiday trade being placed at $20,000 that year. \\'ith the coming 
of the railroad to the mines production increased, the facilities for handling 
the product keeping pace with the output, so that by 1881, J. M. Colman. then 
manager of the railroad, was able to load 1,200 tons of coal into the hold of a 
vessel directly from the cars of the railway company. This was a great advantage 
as it saved extra handling, breakage to the coal and enabled a ship to obtain 
its cargo in much quicker time. 

That transportation was the main problem confronting the coal mine operators 
in King County is shown by the history of the Issaquah field. It was from this 
mine that L. B. Andrews dug the first flour sack of really good coal ever 
brought into Seattle. This was in 1863, but it was not until the building of 
the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern, now the Northern Pacific's North Bend 









braiuh, in 1888, that this iinnaensc body of coal was made available to the 
market. The Seattle Coal & Iron Comi)any was organized in 1887, with a 
cai)ital slock of $5,000,000. D. II. Gilnian was president; Henry Crawford, 
vice president; J. A. Jameson, treasurer, and V. II. W'hitworth, manager. The 
object of the company was the development of the Issaquah Mine, also the 
iron prospects on the south fork of the Snoqualmie River near the sunimil. 
which at that time were supposed to be of great value. Incidentally it may 
be mentioned that the company hoped to become a big factor in the Pacific 
Coast coal market, which was then controlled by the Oregon Improvement 
Company and the Dunsmuir interests of \'ancouver Island. 

The company owned 1.497 acres of coal land, with at least five veins running 
from 6 to 14 feet in thickness, said to be one of the largest and richest 
fields in the country. Development work was started on a scale which it 
was thought would produce from 300 to 500 tons a day, and the first shipinents 
were made in 1888. The iron mines proved to be prospects only, but Issaquah 
has made good as a coal camp, averaging over one hundred thousand tons 
annual production from 1892 to 1904, when it was closed. Under the man- 
agement of the Superior Coal and Improxement Company the field was again 
iipened in 1910. X'ery little coal was produced by this company. In 1912. it 
gave place to the Issaquah & Superior Coal Mining Company, which has spent 
a great deal of money in bringing the mines again into production. They yicUkd 
8o,9<)4 tons in 1914. 

The Black Diamond Coal Company was organized in California in 1864, and 
through its development of the Ulack Diamond mines at Xortonville in the 
.Mount Diablo district of Contra Costa County early arose to a position of 
prominence in the industry on this coast. .-Ml through the early days promoters 
of new projects went to California for their capital, and it was in this way that 
the Black Diamond Company obtained possession of the coal mines at Coos 
Bay. Ore., and P>ellingham Bay in Whatcom County. The company marketed 
great quantities of coal from these three districts, but as the product of none of 
them came up to that of the King County mines in ((uality. it was decided to 
obtain a mine in this district. 

r. B. Cornwall was at the head of the lUack Diamond ComjKmy when it 
decided to enter the King County field in 1880, and it was under his direction 
that \'iclor F.. Tull was sent north from San Francisco with instructions to 
explore all the coal fields of. the Pugct Sound country with the object of dis- 
covering new and better veins. The company desired to find a better coal 
than the Newcastle, which at that time was the best coal being shipped from 
King County. Tull began his work on the banks of the Skagit River; continu- 
ing south many veins were examined, many samples sent to San Francisco for 
testing, but it was not until July. 1880. that he discovered the great beds which 
are known to underlie the Black Diamond-Franklin-Ravensdale field. The 
small samples which Tull had sent to San Francisco were found to show such 
high quality that the company sent P>. P.. Jones, a coal expert who had been 
employed by the company at its Mount Diablo mines for some years, to Seattle 
with instructions to continue the prospecting of the district. Jones' report of he found was so favorable that the company at once put a crew of men 


at work opening what has since been known ;is Aline Xo. 14 of the I '.kick 
]3iamond grouj). 

With plenty of money at its disposal the company pushed its dexeiopment 
work along very rajjidly and in January, 1882, had a crew of men at work 
building houses, cutting trails to the river and opening the vein of coal. On 
April 7, 1882, Tull loaded a box of 800 pounds of Black Diamond coal on board 
the Idaho for shipment to San I'Vancisco, the shipment being made that the 
company might submit the coal to more exhaustive tests than had yet been given 
it. These tests proved to be so satisfactory that President Cornwall decided 
to i)ay the mines a visit. Morgan Morgans was at that time the company 
superintendent at the Mount Diablo mines and Cornwall asked him to come to 
King County with him. The two men left San Francisco on June 7, 1882, 
on boanl the steamer State of California, and arrived in Seattle June 9th, by way 
of .\storia, Kalama and Tacoma. The next day they obtained a wagon and 
driver and set out for the mines. Some eight miles beyond Renton the driver 
was sent back to Seattle and the men continued their trij) on horseback, arriving 
at the mines at 7.00 P. M. 

h'ollowing the visit of Cornwall and Morgans the ( )regun Improvement 
Company sent Harry Whitworth and a crew of surveyors into the field for the 
purpose of surveying an extension of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad 
from Renton to the mines. The survey was completed in June anil within a 
short time construction work was started on the new line. At this time King 
County was producing sufficient coal to keep the steamships Willamette, Uma- 
tilla and Walla Walla constantly engaged in carrying it to San Francisco, the 
three boats averaging five trips per month and carrying 2,200 tons per trip, 

Morgan Morgans was sent to King County in 1885 as general superintendent 
(jf the P>lack Diamond mines, the first coal in anything like commercial quantities 
being taken out in March of that year. The railroad had been finished, the 
company had a large number of men employed and by the end of the year 43,868 
tons of the new coal had been taken out of the ground. Jl was of high quality 
and was soon very popular as a steam producing fuel. Morgans remained in 
charge of the mines until they were acquired by the Pacific Coast Coal Company 
in 1904, and under his direction other veins were opened in the district, which 
took first place in King County coal production in 1895, a place which it has 
held almost continuously since ; production, in tons, being as follows for the 
years given: 1893, 115,028; njoo, 220,346; upS, 312,290; 1910, 403,741; i()i4, 

With the opening of the Black Diamond mines, and the completion of the 
Cedar River extension in 1884, prospectors began searching for other veins of 
coal in the district, and it was not long before it was found that the outcropping 
discovered by Tull was in the center of a large coal field. Many prospects were 
opened and some of them, notably those of Franklin, Ravensdale and Lawson, 
have become heavy producers. Development work on the Franklin Mine was 
begun during the summer of 1885, and was hurried along with such vigor that 
the mine had produced 7,854 tons of coal by the end of the year. This mine 
is located about three miles east of the Black Diamond mines, and, like them, 
has been a heavy producer of high quality coal. It was opened by the Oregon 
Improvement Company, later passing into the hands of the Pacific Coast Coal 


Company. The field reached its lii<;hest ])ro(liK-lion in i(j(X) with i(>~,C)oo tons 
taken out that year. 

riie Ravensdale mines began shipping in 1900 under the management <ii' tlie 
Leary Coal Company. The first year's output was 48,cxx) tons, which was 
increased to 184,370 in 1895. The mine passed under the control of the North- 
western Improvement Company, subsidiary to the Xorthcrn Pacific Railway, 
and ])roduced 127,972 tons in 1914. An explosion destroyed the mine in Kji.s. 
killing thirty-one workmen, since which lime it has been ahandoned by the 

Through the building of the Cedar River extension of the Columbia and 
I'uget Sound Railway the mine at Cedar Mountain was develo])ed by the Cedar 
.Mountain Coal Company, Samuel IJiair, president; Laurence Colman, secretary, 
and I. .M. Colman, manager, .\lthough dc\eIo])menl work was not started until 
in .\ugusl, 1884, the mine had produced 1,732 tons by the end of that year. 
This property was never what could be called a heavy producer and after being 
()])erated for some twenty years was closed because of faults. 

During the lasf fifteen years several new mines have been o])ened in King 
( ounty, some of which, like the Denny-Renton Clay & Coal C'om])any"s at 
Taylor, the Grand Ridge east of Issaquah and others have ])roduced coal in com- 
mercial quantities. King County production passed the million mark in 1902, 
with 1,012,217 t*5"s to 'ts credit, and reached the maximum in 1907 with 
1. 416.509 tons. The heavy increase in the ])roduction of California fuel oil 
during the last few years has forced a curtailment of the coal output, with the 
result that King County mines produced but 844.701 tons in 1913. ]\Iany heat 
and power producing plants have substituted the new fuel for coal, but now that 
oil prices are beginning to rise. King County mining jiromises to again take the 
place in industry which nature, through her great generosity, intended it should 

Xotwithstanding the fact that Washington coal mines are under very rigid 
inspection laws, they ])roducc their share of accidents, and tragedies in which 
men lose their lives and leave women as widows and children as orphans. James 
Uagley, the present state inspector, as well as I). C. Hotting, his immediate pre- 
decessor, grew to manhood in the local coal mining industry. ISoth these men 
know the business from the inside and Iiotii of tluni .ire credited with doing 
everything possible to safeguard the lives of the men who earn their li\ing in 
the mines; but King CouiUy coal veins lie in very stee]) slopes, slopes which 
constitute an added element of danger to tlic industry and ;ire the cause of ma-iy 

Coal mining has contributed its share of the comedy and melodrama, as well 
as tragedy to the romance surrounding the development of the Puget Sound 
country. Promising pros])ccts which filled their discoverers with high hopes 
of financial success have often failed to produce the desired results. Rich 
mines have been discovered only to l)e lost to the original locators; fortunes 
have been lost and other fortunes won, and notwithstanding all the wealth which 
has been taken out of the mines of King County during the last sixty years, 
there remains today a body of coal of unknown vastness. which, as the years 
roll along, will continue to i)roduce wealth, not oidy for the men who own and 
operate the mines, but for the maiuif.iclurers. trans])ortalion lints and the army 


of people who depend upon these and allied industries for a living, and make 
Seattle their home. 

As has been shown, nearly all of the King County coal mines, early in their 
history, passed into the control of foreign corporations, and it is a matter of 
common repute that they are today owned by capitalists who live in San Fran- 
cisco, Boston and other eastern cities, and even in Berlin, Germany. That these 
foreign owners have considered the local mining industry from the standpoint 
of dividends only is shown by the fact that these same dividends, or profits, 
annually reach a sum greater than the amount paid in wages to King County 
coal miners, the great majority of whom are citizens of foreign nations. It 
would seem that with such vast quantities of coal as this county possesses the 
importation of an outside product for the purpose of supplying local demand 
would be unnecessary. These foreign owners, in order that they might declare 
larger profits to their stockholders, placed a price upon the local product which 
made these importations not only possible but highly profitable, and during the 
last twenty-five years more than one fortune has been made through supplying 
the people of this city with coal mined east of the Cascade ^lountains, in 
British Columbia, and even in far away Australia. 

By far the greater part of the profits made through the development of the 
timber industry, with its saw and shingle mills, its sash, door, barrel and other 
woodworking factories, have remained in the state where they have contributed to 
the comfort and well being of the people. Such, however, is not true of King 
County coal, one of the greatest assets Seattle ever possessed, and it is to be 
regretted that its profits have gone to enrich other states and foreign nations, 
while our own people, in their efforts to be loyal to the local product, have been 
forced to pay these profits, knowing at the time the true condition existing 
in the industry. The pioneer did not possess the capital required to develop 
the mines. He could have held on to his claims, in which event the develop- 
ment of the country would have been retarded ; but he sold, hoping the resultant 
development would justify his sacrifice. For every hundred dollars invested by 
the foreign purchasers of the mines, thousands have flowed, and continue to 
flow, into their pockets ; all because the pioneer did not have, and could not 
borrow, the capital required for paying the expenses of developing his claims. 


The act of Congress establishing Oregon Territory was approved August 14, 
1S48. This law providefl for little more than setting the governmental machinery 
in motion. Another law. apj^roved September 27, 1S50, created the oflice of 
surveyor general, provided for surveys of public lands and the terms on which 
settlers could secure title to these lands. Said act set aside sections sixteen and 
thirty-six for common school purposes, and granted to the Territory of Oregon 
tiie quantity of two townships of land therein to aid in the establishment of a 
university in the territory in such manner as its Legislature might direct. The 
Territorial Assembly of Oregon located the university at Marj\sville, I*"ebruary 
1, 1851, during its second session; at its next session provided for the selection 
of a university land commissioner and for the selection and sale of the university 
lands. It will be seen that at this early date the law making body entertained 
the view that these lands might be sold as well as selected. This became a 
matter of importance in Washington about twenty years later. During the next 
session boards of commissioners were named to select and sell these lands and 
to erect the territorial university at Marysville on a site to be donated for that 

1 lere our connection with the Oregon institution ceased, as Congress passed 
a law establishing the Territory of Washington, approved March 2, 1853, includ- 
ing all of that part of Oregon south of latitude 49 and north of the Columbia 
Kiver from its mouth to latitude 46, thence in said latitude to the summit of the 
Rocky Mountains, thence to latitude 49. 

.\n act of Congress, approved July 17, 1854, provided that in lieu of the two 
townships of land that had been granted to Oregon there should be reserved in 
each of the territories of Oregon and Washington two townships of land to 
be selected for university purposes, under the direction of the legislatures of 
said territories. 

In early territorial days the location of the public buildings was a matter 
of importance to the several localities. The capitol, university, penitentiary and 
insane asylum were "located" at almost every session of the Legislature which 
then met each year. As there were no funds with which to erect buildings no 
great damage was done. 

Washington L'nivcrsity was no e.xception. January 29, 1855, it was located 
at Seattle, with a branch at Roisfort, Lewis County, both institutions to be on 
the same footing in all particulars. As the act of Congress reserved lands for 
university purposes the Legislature held the view that one or two institutions 
might receive benefits under the act. In January, 1858, the university was 
changed from Seattle to Cowlitz I'arm Prairie, Lewis County, and under this 
act the ])roceeds of both townships of land were to be applied for its sujiiiort 


Vnl. 1-1(1 


and eiulownicnt. It required a donation of ifio acres for a site. Xothing was 
done under tliis act. 

January ii, 1861, the act that resuUed in the building of the uni\ersity in 
.Seattle was passed, authorizing the selection of said lands from the public 
domain and the sale of the same at $1.50 per acre. Three commissioners were 
appointed — Daniel Bagley, Edmund Carr and John Webster. P'ebruary 22, 
1861, they met and organized in the auditor's little office that stood at the north- 
west corner of Third Avenue and Yesler Way. Mr. Bagley was chosen president 
of the board, and the entire management of the affairs of the university was 
intrusted to him. At that "time nearly all the lands belonging to the Government 
that had been surveyed in the Puget Sound region could be bought for $1.25 
per acre, and most of the legislators who voted for the location of the university 
and the sale of the lands did not believe they could be sold at 23 cents an acre 
more than other lands just as good. The contracts for clearing the ten-acre 
tract that had been given for the purjiose by .\rthur A. Denny, about 85/ acres, 
and Charles C. Terry, about ij/j acres, had a clause in them that if it should 
be found that money to pay for said clearing coulil not be realized out of the 
sale of lands, those who did the clearing should takei their pay in lands at the 
price named above. Prices for clearing ranged from $275 to $325 per acre, and 
it cost about $3,000 for the ten acres. As the entire tract was worth at the time 
perhaps $500, it will readily be seen how disproportionate to the value of timber 
lands at that time was the cost of clearing the same. At this time, and for many 
years after, lands along the shores of Lakes Union and Washington, now in 
the city's limits, could be bought of the Government at $1.25 per acre, from the 
university at $1.50, or could be taken for nothing by homestead entrv. The 
Renton tract, the Squire tract, Kinnear tract and others of the most fashionable 
residence parts of the city today were selected by Mr. Bagley and sold to 
inirchasers at $1.50 j^er acre. In 1S64 John J. McGilvra "took up" his beautiful 
home. Laurel Shade, it being Government land. From i860 down to as late 
as 1870 many hundreds of acres of lands within from one to three miles of 
Pioneer Place were bought at private entry for $1.25 per acre in depreciated 
currency, that made the actual cost to the purchasers from 50 to 60 cents. The 
Denny-F'uhrman tract cost about 50 cents an acre. 

Early in 1861 it became apparent that sufficient funds would be obtained to 
clear the land and erect the university buildings. The men who did the actual 
work of clearing became more or less prominent in the alifairs of the citv in later 
years. They were Henry A. Atkins. Lewis V. Wyckofif, Lyman B. Andrews, 
Clarence B. Bagley, Hillory Butler, Ira Woodin, Edwin Richardson, Lemuel 
Holgate, John Pike and his son Harvey, John Carr, James Crow, James Hunt, 
D. Parmlee and O. Dudley. 

The stone for the foundation was brought from a quarry near Port (Orchard. 
The main building and the home for the president and a dormitory or boarding 
house were all practically completed by August i, 1862. 

The fir lumber came mostly from Ports Madison and Gamble, though Vesler's 
mill supplied a small part of it. The finishing wood, outside and inside, was all 
white pine brought from the mills at Seabeck. The cement, paints, oils, glass 
and hardware came from Victoria, and the heavy import duty and steamboat 
charges often more than doubled the first cost. The brick and lime were brought 



Ijv Cai)t. Henry Roedcr from Relliiigham Bay. Most of the work was done by 
contract, but was separated into many parts. The contractors and workmen were 
as follows: Hauling of materials, Thomas fiercer, L. V. Wyckoff, Hillory 
i:>utler and Josiah Settle; surveying ten-acre tract and giving levels and location 
stakes for buildings, Edwin Richardson; architect, John Tike; putting up frame 
and inclosing .same, Thomas S. Russell and John Pike ; stone foundation and 
brick work, John Dodge, John T. Jordan and S. Thorndyke, and the last two 
also did the plastering: window and door frames, Franklin .Matthias; making 
columns and putting them in jjlace, A. P. DeLin and O. C. Shorey; flooring and 
shingling, R. 11. Beatty, O. J. Carr. Josiah Settle and C. B. I'.agley; tin work, 
Hugh McAleer (there was no plumbing done) ; painting, Harvey Pike, Jeff Hunt, 
Charles Gorton, C. P.. Bagley and J. E. Clark; desks, D. C. Beaty, A. P. DeLin 
and O. C. Shorey; blacksmithing, \\'illiam W. White; miscellaneous carpenter 
work, Harry M. and \\'. B. Hitchcock, Martin Givler, X. DeLin, in addition to 
most of the others named above. A large amount of miscellaneous work was 
done by nearly all of the foregoing, and in addition were J. W. Johnson. David 
' iraham, Richard King, George Austin, Albert I'inkham, J. C. Purcell, Charles 
Harvey, James Kelley and five or six others. 

The foregoing list is given for a double ])urpose. It is a part of the historical 
record and it shows that in those days there were no drones nor men of leisure 
in the community. .Ml who had not regular employment elsewhere went to 
work with saw, plane, hammer, ax. pick, shovel or with whate\er he could licst 
I urn his hand. Nothing was too laborious or too humble for them. 

Kusiness being all on a coin basis led to an anomalous condition of affairs, 
(onlracts were made on this basis and were usually observed, and it was a 
^^ain on the character of any one for the rest of his life to "greenback" a 
creditor, which was the usual name for paying a coin debt in "greenbacks," as 
I 'nited States legal tender notes were called. All payments to county, state and 
nation were made in paper money, except duties on foreign goods entered at 
the custom houses. Postal, United States internal revenue and land office col- 
lections were all in the same currency, as were all moneys collected in the courts. 
If one went to buy land at r)lymi)ia, where, until recent years, was the only land 
office on Puget Sound, he changed his coin into paper money for the purpose. 
This was not foreseen when the first large contracts were made for the sale 
nf university lands, and later, when some of the mill companies made ])ayments 
in that kind of currency, it deranged the ])lans of tiie commissioners and made 
trriuble in their accounts. All Mr. Bagley 's accounts were kc])t in coin, according 
to the custom of tjie business men of the country. Should he receive .S240 for 
a quarter section of land, he did not charge himself with that sum, but reduced 
it to coin dollars at the current rate. H ])aper was 60 cents on the dollar, he 
entered $144; if 50 cents, then $120; if only 40 cents, then it was only $96. 

Later a committee was appointed by the Legislature, who were unfriendly to 
Seattle, and mostly political enemies of Mr. Bagley, who made an examination 
of his accounts and rendered a rejiort showing a large balance due from him to 
ihe university fund, most of which was the difference between the coin value 
and par value of the jKiper money he had been comiJcUed to take, and had used 
in the curicnt transactions of the institution. .\ later committee of the Legisla- 
ture made an exhaustive report and found $8 more due him than his own accounts 


showed. At the time his connection was terminated with university affairs he 
claimed a balance due him from its fund of a little more than $800, and $i,5CX) 
unpaid salary from the territorial treasury. In time the regents of the institution 
paid the former claim in full, and thirty years later he sued the state and recovered 
a considerable part of his claim for salary. 

He had for twenty years to suffer an unlimited storm of calumny and reproach 
because of his connection with the university, but later received a full measure 
of credit for the energy and business sagacity he displayed in obtaining the funds 
to build with, and in the erection of the buildings themselves and setting the 
educational machinery in motion, feeble and intermittent as was its action for 
many succeeding years. He has often been called the "father of the university," 
and if such a title rightfully belongs to anyone it is due to him. 

The old cash book kept by Mr. Bagley has ]\Iarch 16, 1861, for its earliest 
date, and among the entries are many of interest sufficient to warrant their 
mention here. Among the first is one of express charges on $60 from Olympia, 
$1, and all through the book are similar charges of from four to ten times the 
present rates. The fare for a round-trip to Olympia and return was $12; one 
to Wincouxer on the Columbia River was $60. Cement was $7.50 per barrel, 
lime ?3.50, finishing nails 10 cents per pound, and 2.480 pounds of window weights 
cost $248. Wages were as about as now. only ten hours made the day. Lumber 
was also about the same prices as at present. Tin work was very costly. 

After the buildings were completed there were no funds that could legally 
be used to carry on educational work, and for years the Legislature failed to 
provide them. The population of the territory in 1S60 was less than twelve 
thousand, and in 1870 less than twenty-four thousand. The great Civil war was 
in progress, and while this region was not directly called upon for men or 
money, business was stagnant and the ordinary expenses of the territory were 
greater than its revenues and were met by the issue of warrants much depreciated 
in actual value. Also, the ill feeling toward the institution, so pronounced 
during the period of construction, was kept alive year after year. 

In January, 18O2, $2,000 were appropriated from the university fund to pur- 
chase books and philosophical apparatus, and provision was made to allow the 
use of the interest on the remainder of the fund for educational purposes. 

Not until 1877, more than fifteen years after educational work began in the 
university building, was direct legislative aid extended to it. November 9th 
of that year an appropriation of $1,500 for 1878, and the same amount for 1879, 
was made from territorial funds for salaries only. At this session forty-five free 
scholarships were provided for, to be apportioned among the several counties, 
and entitling the holder to two years of free tuition of not less than nine months 
each year, academic the first year and collegiate the second. 

November, 1S79, provision was made for a salarj- allowance of $1,000 each 
year in 1880 and 1881, and $500 .for philosophical apparatus. 

During the years 1882 and 1883, the institution would have been compelled 
to close but for the generosity of Henry \'illard, the most notable figure at that 
period in the railroad affairs of this Northwest. He gave the sum of $4,000. 

November, 1883, thirty-six free scholarships were ordered by the Legislature, 
and appropriations were made for 1884 and 1885, $3,000 each year. 

January, 1886, $10,000 were appropriated for salaries during the two years 


of 1886 and 1S87, and each member of the Legislative Assembly might appoint 
a bona fide resident of his district to a free scholarship. Six hundred dollars 
were provided in addition for books and piiiloso|jhical and chemical apparatus. 

The institution had now been in operation twenty-live years. 

During this ([uarter century of constant struggle on the ]Kirt of all those con- 
nected with the university as regents and instructors, there liad been several 
jjeriods that it was of necessity closed. Ten jjresidcnts had jiresided over its 
troublous destinies. 

Sciiool was first o])ened in the university, Xoveniber 4, 1861, with .\sa S. 
Mercer in charge. There was hut one schoolroom and alxjul thirty scholars in 

.Mr. Mercer had Ijeen graduated a year before and arrived in .Seattle in lime 
to do considerable manual labor about the unixersity grounds during the summer 
• if 1.%!. The school continued five months. 

.Mrs. Ossian J. Carr taught a ])rivate school in the same room for three 
months in 1862, May, June and July, with twenty- four children attending. 

On the lOth day of (October of that year the second session of university 
school was opened with Mr. Mercer, principal, and Mrs. \'. Calhoun, assistant. 
.\lr. Mercer was called out of town several times during the wiiUer and Clarence 
11. liagley i)resided in his place. Dillis 1'. Ward, another pioneer still living in 
Seattle, occasionally acted as Mr. Mercer's assistant during the winter. 

These first schools brought to Seattle a fair number of students from abroa<l. 
' )lynipia sent five, namely: James B. Biles, Susan Isabella Biles, Edgar Bryan. 
Augustus (ieary and Edwin .Austin. Victoria sent four — ( ieorge W. Little. John 
McCrea, Ed Francis and .Mien hVancis. 'j'hey came from the country and ihe 
camps, but, of course, the larger number were the youth of ."^cattle, .\mong 
these was Sarah l-oretta, daughter of John Denny, who at her death five year.-, 
ago left to the university $25,000 for fellowshi])s. The first white girl born in 
."Seattle. Eugenie McConaha, was one of the ])ui)ils, and Orion O. Denny, the tirst 
boy, was another. .\n official list of studeiUs is not accessible, but in addition 
to those named it is known that these also atU-n(le(L -Margaret Lenora Denny, 
Uolland II. Denny, Rebecca llorton, .Mice Mercer, (ieorge W. Harris, Sylvanus 
C Harris, Robert G. Hays, Charles Hays, Zebedee M. Keller, James Hunt, 
1-. L. .Andrews, Jane Wetmore, Birdsie Wetmore, l-"rank Wetmore, E. Inez 
Denny. Madge Denny, Charles Tobin, Eindley Cam]jbell, Sarah Bonney, flertrude 
r.oren. Mar)' Boren, Jose])h Crow. Martha Crow. Emma Russell. John 1'.. l.ibhy, 
Levi Livingston, Christine Delin. .Xndrus l)tiiii, Eva Andrews, William R. 
.\ndiews, Ed Harmon, I'red ^'nung, l-'rances Webster, Lewis Lost, Joim W. 
Xeely, Louis McMillan, K. Weii)urn, Susie (jraham, William ( Jdell, SophroTiia 
Humphrey, .\rthur Brownell, Thomas Winship, Edward Sanford I'ucklin and M. Belshaw. It is believed the fifty-eight named herein attended the 
second Mercer school, and more than one-half of them the first. It is also 
believed that it is a complete list of Mercer's second term pupils. 

.Asa Shinn Mercer was bom near Princeton, 111., in 1838, and recei\ed his 
early instruction in the schools of that town. In |8C)0 he graduated from bVimk- 
lin College, at Xew .\thens, Ohio, .\lmost immediately he began preparations 
to come west, n.iturally to .Seattle, wlure his eider brother. Thomas, was one 


of its pioneers; also here were two other intluential citizens. Dexter Ilorton 
and Daniel Bagley. who had known him from early childhood. 

Arriving here in June, 1861, he set to work on the universit}' grounds at com- 
mon labor until he got a job of surveying. His connection with the university 
has already been set forth; and his connection with the "Mercer immigration"' 
affairs in another chapter. From here he went to Oregon, later he was in 
Texas, Colorado, \\'yoming, and elsewhere in the Middle West. He drifted 
qiiite naturally into the newspaper business. 

In 1890 he was sent to Chicago from Wyoming as one of the Columbian 
commissioners, and until the great exposition opened in 1893 was the center 
of a stormy period in Chicago. There was an organized plan on foot among 
a lot of the most prominent men in Chicago to have thirty or forty acres of the 
lake front filled just east of the Auditorium Hotel for the purpose of building 
the best buildings in which to house the most attractive of the exhibits and 
relegate the rest of it somewhere south, west or north of the city, they did not 
much care. There was also well grounded suspicion that when the exposition 
should close the promoters of the dual sites would be the beneficiaries from the 
final disposition of the tract on the lake front. The Southern, Western and 
Pacific Coast members of the commission desired a single site, and under the 
leadership of Asa Shinn Mercer, formerly of Seattle, and Richard Mansfield 
White, now of Seattle, they won a signal victory. The beautiful grounds at 
Jackson Park were the result of this contest. The writer, also from Seattle, 
is proud to remember that he took a humble jjart in the exciting contest while 
it lasted. Soon after the close of the exposition Mercer nio\ed with his family 
on a big ranch near the bad lands of Wyoming ami went to raising cattle and 
promoting oil wells. At eighty he is still active, although he has nearly lost 
his eyesight. 

Beginning September 7. 1863, the university opened with William F. Barnard, 
president, who came to Seattle from the Willamette University at Salem. r)re. 
He was a native of Alassachusetts and had graduated from Dartmouth College 
in 1858. In the advertisement announcing the ])roposed opening of the school, 
tuition rates were given as follows: Primary department, jier quarter, S6.00 ; 
academic, $8.00: collegiate, Sio.oo. 

Mr. Barnard continued in charge of the uni\ersity until the close of the 
spring term of 1866. In an older institution he would have been \aluable as 
an educator, but he had no experience in pioneering ; he did not understand the 
people of the West and their unconventional ways. Little true svmpathy and 
affection between him and his pupils was established. Almost immediatelv 
after he assumed control of the institution here he entered upon correspondence 
with others seeking an engagement elsewhere. 

Here is a verl:ial picture he gave of conditions in Seattle in a letter to another 
institution of learning written shortly before he resigned the presidencv : 

"Education throughout the Sound district is in ;m extremely backward condi- 
tion ; as an illustration ; Not one of the misses attending the university, the 
first quarter after our arrival, could accurately repeat the multiplication table. 
Society is also greatly disorganized ; drunkenness, licentiousness, profanity, and 
Sabbath desecration are the striking characteristics of our people, and of no 
portion more than those at Seattle. Of course there are a few honorable 


exceptions. We have two distilleries, eleven drinking establishments, one bawdy 
house, and at all the drinking establishments, as at our three hotels, gambling is 
openly practiced ; and Sunday is no exception. 

"These are the influences we have had to encounter in our efforts to build up 
an institution of learning. I need not say it is discouraging and well nigh 

-Mr. liarnard wrote the literal truth, but he made no effort to present the 
bright side of the shield. At that period the description of his surroundings 
iierc applied equally well to nearly every town and city on the Pacitic Coast, 
and its exact parallel existed here for a full half century afterward. 

In I ST/) he resigned the jjresidcncy and for the next two years held a deputy- 
ship in the customs service at Port Townsend under Fred A. Willson, collector. 

i-rom there he went to California, where he remained until his death in 1910. 

Rev. George F. Whitworth, the pioneer of Presbyterianism in the Northwest, 
came to Olympia in 1854. Probably no resident of Washington has left so 
dee]) an im])ress upon public affairs of so wide range. By turns he was teacher, 
editor, deputy surveyor, civil engineer, clerk in the Indian department, deputy 
collector of customs, and at all times he was active in religious, moral, temperance 
and educational work, not only in his own community, but throughout Washing- 
ton. He was active in putting into operation the infant industries, particularly 
coal mining. Twice he held the presidency of the university ; he served a term 
in Thurston County as superintendent of public instruction and in his declining 
years he founded an academy at Sumner in Pierce County, which later was moved 
to Tacoma and named Whitworth College. This institution jjasscd through 
many vicissitudes and was later moved to Spokane, where it bids fair to be a 
school of importance. 

During the summer of iMWi he was induced to accejit the jiresidency of the 
university, and September ijlh of that year school was opened. Arrangements 
had also been made by the public school directors for the scholars of the district 
to attend the university. 

George Frederick Uhitworth was born March 15, 1816, in the Town of 
I'.oston, Lincolnshire, luigland. In li^^j the family came to the Lnited States 
to live and settled at Terre Haute, Ind. He became a student at Hanover 
College and was graduated in 1839. 

Coming to the Pacific Coast in 1S53, he soon took up a donation claim near 
Olympia, and at once engaged in ministerial and educational work there and in 
nearly all parts of the Puget Sound country. 

Me died in Seattle, October 6, 1907, after a brief illness. 

President Whitworth advertised the continuation of school in tlic university 
iKginning July 22. 1867, but it did not reopen. Sufficient encouragement was not 
forthcoming. During all these lean years the university buildings, including 
the ])resident's residence and the boarding house, w^ere used by those in charge 
of the schools rent free, but the salaries had to come from tuition fees almost 
entirely, and they offered little encouragement. In April, 1868, the regents 
I>ublished in the newspapers of Washington, Oregon and California a i)roposi- 
lion to lease the institution for a term of years. Tiuv said: 

"The institution embraces ten acres of ground, well cleared and fenced ; the 
university building proper, president's house, boarding house and outbuildings. 


with a good supply of running water. It is pleasantly and healthfully situ- 
ated in Seattle, W. T. I'roposition to lease it as a sectarian institution will not 
be entertained."' 

No satisfactory offer was received, and this time the institution remained 
closed for two years. April 5, 1S69, the regents advertised in the Intelligencer 
that "the institution will be permanently reopened on Monday the uth dav of 
April, 1S69, under the charge of Prof. John II. Hall, assisted by such professors 
and assistant teachers as may be required." Tuition per term of eleven weeks : 
scientific department, $10.00; collegiate department, $12.00. 

Air. Hall was a graduate of Yale College and a gentleman of fine attainments 
and much e.xecutive ability. The fact that he was able to maintain iiimself for 
three years proves that he must also have had considerable financial ability to 
keep the institution open in the face of so many adverse influences, .\fter his 
separation he taught schools in King and Tierce counties and later went into other 
business. He died in Tacoma. 

In the summer of 1872 Mr. Edgar K. Hill arrived from Ypsilanti, Mich., to 
take up the duties of president. He was born in Berkeley, Ohio, in 1S45. 
He had been recently gradtiated from the Michigan State Normal School when 
the appointment of president was tendered him. His young bride accompanied 
him and the two composed the faculty. For a term they had classes in Latin, 
Greek, German and French, higher mathematics and down through the grammar 
grade to the primary. At the beginning of the second year, all grades below 
the sixth were abolished as they had been taken over by the public schools of 
the city. 

Early in 1S74 the university was again closed for lack of funds and Mr. and 
Mrs. Hill removed to California. He taught schools in many cities of that state 
during sixteen years' residence there. In 1890, he returned with his family to 
Seattle and for several years taught in the city schools. During this period four 
of his sons attended the university and three of them were graduated. Early 
in the rush to the Alaskan gold fields he and his four sons joined the throng. 
The father died and was buried there. 

In 1874 Mr. F. H. Whitworth and Miss May Thayer took charge of the 
university for a time. 

Air. Whitworth has occupied many positions of responsibility during his 
fifty years' residence in Seattle. He was born at New Albany, Ind., March 25, 
1846, and was only seven years old when the family crossed the plains. He 
attended the schools of Olympia until about 18(16. when he wenti to California 
to enter upon a collegiate course, from which he was graduated four years 

When he resigned from the university, in 1875, he took up civil engineering 
and in that capacity had much to do with local mining and railroad enterprises. 
For several years, he and Mr. R. H. Thomson were associated together in busi- 
ness, and after that, he and Mr. George F. Cotterill formed a partnership which 
still continues. 

It was not the good fortune of the writer to know Aliss May Thayer, but in 
one of the university publications appear the following kindly words regarding 

"Miss Thayer deserves much credit as one who shared with the early 


presidents the joys and care of responsibility. She was a graduate of .Mount 
Holyoke and before coming to Seattle had taught in the schools of Massachusetts 
and New York. She came West in 1873 to become assistant teacher to rresidcnl 

"More than once her untiring efforts kept alive the feeble little school. When 
nionev was lacking and classes in algebra and Latin had ceased to exist, Miss 
Thavcr continued to occupy the building with her class of infants. During one 
n\ these periods it became very lonely and bitterly cold in the great empty, 
rhoing hall. I'riends advised her to .give up the school. lUit the brave woman, 
Aith her tiny "university,' moved to an u])pcr room in the house of Mr. Thomas \V. 
I'rosch. where she continued to teach amid more congenial surroundings." 

In the spring (jf 1X75 Rev. tieorge I'. W liitworth. for the second time, 
assumed the ])residency and continued until, on account of po\erty, the institu- 
tion again closed with the Christmas term of 187''). During his incumbency 
occurred the first graduation, that of Miss Clara McCarthy. 

A militarv (le])artment was organized by him, also instruction, theoretical 
and practical, in civil engineering was given during school hours and when he 
(luld S])are the time outside U]30n the campus, ami during the long summer 
davs out in the forests and in the mountains. He taught school as he preached, 
because he loved humanity, and in spite of small pay and all sorts of discourage- 
nu-nts he lefi his impress upon the affairs of the uni\ersily continued for 
many years after he had finally left it. 

I'rof. Alexander J. Anderson was the next to become head of the university, 
riu- fuiutr ni' the institution was more promising than ever before. The Legis- 
lature had ajjpropriated $1,500 for 1878, and the same amount for 1879; also 
provision had been made for free scholarships as noted elsewhere. Mr. Ander- 
^<in was burn in Ireland of Scottish parentage about 1833. During his childhood, 
the family came to the United Stales and settled in Illinois, lie was graduated 
from Knox College, Galesburg, in 1856, and at once adopted teaching ;is his 
profession, and continued that work in Illinois until 1869. Coming to the 
Pacific Coast, he held the chair of mathematics in Pacific University at Forest 
drove for a lime, then became ]jrinci])al of a high school in Portland, Ore. In 
.'■^eptember, 1877, he opened a jjrivate school in the iniiversity. In b'cbruary, 
1S78, he was elected president of the institution and conlinue(l in charge uiuil 
I S82. 

Including the additional .ittendance, by reason of the free scholarsiiips, the 
lasses grew ia])idly and the number of teachers increased in ])ro])orlion. brom 
-•eattle he ino\ed to Walla Walla, and there held ihe ])residency of Whitman 
I ollege for ten years. Ill health then compelled him to give up active work. 
Death finally came to his relief in Olympia, March 17, 1903. It was during 
his connection with the university that Henry \illard came to its relief as noted 
1 Isewhere. 

.\ farewell reception was given Mr. and Mrs. .Anderson, July 18. 1882, at 
the .Arlington Motel in this city. Henry G. Struve, president of the university, 
presided and complimentary addresses were made by him and L. P. Smith, 
John Leary, John F. Danion. Bailey Catzert and other city notables of that 

I'rof. Thomas Condon, of the University of Oregon, was next invited by the 


regents to come to Seattle, but declined, and Prof. Leonard J. Powell was then 

He had been ser\ing as superintendent of public instruction in Oregon and 
resigned that position to come to Seattle. Plenary powers were given him to 
organize a faculty and to prescribe a course of collegiate and academic instruc- 
tion. His arrival in Seattle, July i8, 1882, is noted in the Chronicle. 

The institution was reopened Wednesday, September 20th. Professor Powell 
took charge of the mathematical department, and the other professors were given 
assignments — Lee, literary; Hansee, Greek and Latin; Johnson, science; Swimm, 
preparatory. Mrs. W. A. Md'herson was in charge of the primary classes. 

Early in the Powell regime, a third year was added to the normal course; 
laboratories were equipped, athletic and out-of-door sports encouraged, and in 
1884, a department of military science and tactics re-established. 

An interesting and in fact dramatic incident occurred in the fall of 1883, 
which was recorded by Mrs. Villard in her book of memoirs. All old-timers 
will remember the spectacular excursion planned and headed by Henry Villard 
to bring a large party of distinguished gentlemen to witness the ceremonies 
attendant upon driving the "golden spike'' that completed connection of the 
eastern and western sections of the Northern Pacilic Railroad. Most of the 
party came on to the Pacific Coast, and Seattle made extraordinary efforts to 
entertain them. Steamers gaily decorated met them at the entrance to the bay ; 
the streets from the wharf to the university were aflame with banners and bunting, 
while at the university grounds a pavilion had been erected, festooned and 

Naturally Professor Powell took a prominent part in the exercises; also 
Miss Nellie Powell delivered an address of welcome that attracted the attention 
of the visitors and met with quite generous praise. She took occasion to grace- 
fully refer to the generosity of Mr. \'illard to the institution a couple of years 

Professor Powell's health began to decline in 1S86, but he remained in charge 
until after the graduation exercises of the class of 1887. Soon afterward his 
body was taken to Lakeview Cemetery by his former students accompanied by a 
large concourse of students and citizens of the city. 

The ensuing fall Thomas \[. Gatch was chosen presitlent of Washington 
University, and this time accepted the appointment. Twenty-five years earlier it 
had been tendered to him and declined, and at that time, by reason of his recom- 
mendation, it was given to William E. Piarnard. During all that time he had 
Ijeen connected with educational institutions, mostly in Oregon, and nearly all the 
time in full charge of them. The writer has an affectionate remembrance of 
him iluring the early days of his connection with the Willamette Institute, where 
he was then in charge of the classes in higher mathematics and Latin and Greek 
languages. To him was permitted to close the educational work in the old 
university building at P'oiu'th and Seneca and to reopen it on the new campus 
that is today the pride of Seattle and of the State of Washington. 

He resigned the presidency in 1895, but continued a year longer as professor 
of political science, then returnetl to Oregon and became the president of its 
agricultural college for another year. x-\fter sixty years, save one, of devotion 
to educational work, he retired under the provisions of the Carnegie foundation. 


lie and Mrs. Gatch then relumed to Seattle and he died liere April 22, 1913. 
Mrs. ("latch has her home on Queen .\nne Hill near her dau{:jhter, Mrs. 1.. 
II. Wheeler, who was art instructor while her father was in charge of the 

Including the year 18^5, the number of graduates was sixty-nine, as follows. 
The maiden names of the young ladies are enclosed in parentheses, viz. : 

1876— Wilt, Clara (McCarthy). B. S. 

,j<}<i_\\ayland. Helen I. (Hall), 15. S. ; Redtield, Edith (^Sanderson), B. S. 

i}<g2 — Anderson. Louis P., A. B.. .\. M.; Colman, George A., 15. S. ; Judson, 
George H., B. S. ; Kilbourne, Leila .\. (Shorey), B. S. 

iJ>83 — Chipman, II. O., B. S. : Denny. Carrie V. (1 'aimer J, B. S. 

1884— Olmstead. Anna F. (Sparling), B. S.. B. P. 

1S83 — Camp. Hettie Louise (Greene), B. S. : Denunt. Louise M. (Root), 
B. S. ; Meany, Edmond .Stephen, B. S.. M. S., M. L. ; I'iper, Charles \ancouver, 
B. S., M. S. ; Huntington, John, B. S.. M. IX; \eazie, Agnes M. (Green), 
B. S. 

1886— Alvord, Elisha II., A. B. : Gormley, .Matthew 11., B. S. ; McElroy, 
James F.. B. S., LL. B.; Pratt, E. Emma (Clark), A. B., A. M. 

1887— .\dams. Florence M., A. B., A. M.; Bigclow, Edwin X'ictor, .\. B., 

A. M.; Drumheller, XeUie E. (Powell), A. B. ; McLennan, Anna (McDiarmid), 

B. S.; Porter, James W. ; Powell. Edward T., B. S. 

li-iSS — .Adams, Marion E.. B. S. ; Hines, .Annie V.. (Willard), B. S. ; Kinnear, 
eharles .\.. I'.. S. ; Kuhn, Ida (Soule), B. S., M. S. ; Wakefield, Depalmer G., 
B. S. 

i88i>— I'urher. l'"anny L. (Churchill). B. S. ; Gatch. Ruth, .\. B. ; Hawley, 
Royal T., A. B. ; Ward. Charles Clarence. 1'.. S. 

1891 — Douty, Daniel F'llis, B. S. : Kellogg, juiin A.. B. S. ; Xickcis, .\delaide 
G., B. S.. B. P.; Noble. Francis A., B. S.; Parker, Maude I... A. T... M. D. ; 
Schimer. J. Herman; White, Minnie J. (Pelton), B. S., M. S. 

1893 — CoUings, I'. Otto. A. B. ; Gatch, Grace, A. B. ; Johnson. Winnifred 
(Ewing), A. B.. B. P.; McXicl. Beatrice A. (Karr), A. B., B. P.; Parker, Adella 
M., A. B., LL. B. 

1894 — Corey, Helen Mae (Anthony), P.. S.. Ph. G. ; Durham. Mcrrit Ernest. 
B. S. : Durham. .Mettie (Heaton), B. S. ; Ford, Delton Alton. I',. I'.; ('.rcoiic 
Roger Sherman. Jr., .\. B.. B. P.: Pelton, .\nnie Jennie, B. S.. I'.. I'.; Pierce. 
Adelbert Ernest. A. 1'..; I'orler, John I'.dwin. B. S. ; Sprague, Albert Roderick, 
A. B. ; I'urner, Horace .Amos, B. S. 

1895 — Clarke, Myra I'.rewster, B. I'.; Dearborn, L^ra.stus Phillips, A. B.; 
Howell. Harriet .Mice. P.. P., A. .M.; Jenner, Earl Robinson, .\. I'..; McEIreath, 
L.crtie Reginald, I',. P.; McKee, Charlotte Ruth (Karr), B. P., A. B., A. M.; 
Morrison. Isaac Phillips. .A. B. ; Smith, Helen Burrows (Hubbard), .A. B. ; 
Waughop, Hilda Leonard, B. P.; Wiley, Martha, B. P.; Williams, .Anna Rayfield 
(Parsons I, .\. P..; Williams. Kate Shannon, P.. P. 

In their annual rejiort to the governor for 1890, the board of regents among 
other things recommended: "That a law be enacted by the Legislature empower- 
ing the board of university regents, with the concurrence of the governor and 
secretary of state, to dispose of the present site of the university, if deemed 
advisable, provided that arrangements to that end can lie effected with all parties 


now in interest. In the opinion of the regents ampler grounds are essential 
to the prosperity and well-being of the university, and grounds more remote 
from the center of a rapidly growing and expanding city. The experience of 
educational institutions unites upon the idea that such institutions flourish best 
removed to a distance from the excitements and temptations incident to citv life 
and its environments." 

It had long been apparent that the ten-acre tract would eventually be outgrown 
by the rising university, but prior to this time no constructive steps had been taken 
looking forward to its removal. But there was considerable legal difficulty seem- 
ingly involved in the removal, for the deed of conveyance to the tract contained 
a clause to the effect that the land should revert to the Town of Seattle in the 
event of the university's ceasing to use it for its original purpose. The Legisla- 
ture, which was favorably disposed toward a removal project, decided to investi- 
gate the legal aspect of the matter, and to that end appointed a joint committee 
with Senator L. F. Thompson and Representative L. B. Nims as chairmen to 
obtain the advance opinions of the best legal talent in the state. On March 12, 
1890, ^Messrs. H. G. Struve, Thomas Burke, John Arthur and John Kean 
appeared before this committee, and concurred in the opinion that in the event 
of the university's ceasing to occupy the tract for the purposes named in the 
deed of conveyance, the title would not revert to the Town of Seattle, but to 
the state. 

Early in 1891 the Legislature appointed another joint university committee, 
of which Edmond S. Meany was chairman, having, as its chief duty, the selection 
of a new site. In looking about. Chairman Meany 's eyes fell upon a beautiful 
tract fronting L'nion Bay. on Lake \\'ashington, some five or six miles distant 
from the center of the city. This particular piece of ground had been well 
advertised by reason of the fact that the city council had had it in mind for some 
time past as a possible park adtlition. Mr. Meany concei\ed the idea of bringing 
the Legislature to Seattle in order that it might have a look at the site. This was 
in February, 1891. As the railroads in those days furnished passes freely, and 
it was the week-end, when most of the members would be coming down as a 
matter of course, the excursion was largely patronized. The ceremonies were 
simple, but the grounds appealed from the start. As a kind of finale, several 
of the older legislators boosted the young chairman upon a stump, and called 
for a speech, and with words of a prophet, Mr. Meany predicted the great edifices 
which would one day dot the new campus. 

It was upon the recommendation of this committee that the Legislature passed 
an act, approved March 7, 1891, entitled: "An act providing for the establish- 
ment, location, maintenance and support of the L'niversity of ^^'ashington." The 
body which carried out the provisions set forth in the act is generally known 
as the university land and building commission. Both regents and Legislature 
at that time deemed such a commission advisable, for it was feared that the duties 
incident to the removal would be too burdensome for the regents to carry alone. 

Probably no commission in the state ever had. seemingly, more elaborate 
powers. The regents appointed one member, James R. Hayden ; the executive 
chose John Arthur, of Seattle; John McReavy, of L'nion City; and Charles F. 
Leavenworth, of Olympia. At the first meeting the commission organized, 
with John Arthur, president, and chose Martin D. Smith, of Spokane, secretary; 


W illiam E. Boone, of Seattle, architect and superinteiKlent of construction. Later, 
on April 15, 1891, Fred G. I'lunimer, of Taconia, was appointed chief engineer. 
As Mr. Smith resigned his position as secretary on June 15th, James R. Ilayden 
took over the duties in his stead, and was given a paid assistant. 

This commission was authorized, among other things, to locate the university 
on not to exceed 160 acres of land in fractional section 16, in township 25 north, 
of range 4 east, as soon as the heirs to the ten-acre tract should have given a quit- 
claim deed; and to sell the latter at auction to the highest bidder, if the amount 
offered was equal to the assessed valuation. It was further authorized to erect 
upon the new campus a main building and such other structures as were deemed 

The most meritorious work accomplished by this commission was the securing 
of a quit-claim deed to the ten-acre tract. While the best legal opinion assured 
the Legislature that the title in fee rested with the state, it was thought desirable 
to secure a relinquishment, if possible, to any interest which the heirs might have. 
One of the commission, Mr. John Arthur, was delegated to interview Arthur .X. 
Dennv and wife. Judge Lander, and the heirs of Charles C. Terry, deceased, with 
ibis end in view. These persons graciously consented to do all in their power 
and. in lune. 1H91. gave to the university a quit-claim deed. The title was now 
vested in the state and the commis>ion was ready to go ahead with the locating 
and construction of the 1)uildings. 

Hn .August 51)1 the commission located the 160 acres. It had been the hope 
of the friends of the university to secure the entire fractional section, but certain 
aiitagiitiistic interests were instruiiieiilal in having the niaxinnnn amount placed 
at l')0 acres. Not until 1S93 did the university secure the full amount. The 
fault was not, however, with the commission, as it could do no more than carrv 
out the provisions of the act. 

The commission, in the meantime, had ojjcned a downtown office, and was 
])rocee(ling with the work of erecting the new buildings. In its plans the com- 
mission seemed limited only by its imagination. The buildings recommended in 
the architect's reiiorl included a biological hall, chemical hall, hall of law and 
medicine, hall of administration and belles lettres, hall of mathematics and mines, 
an art building, general lil)rary building, gymnasium, observatory, dormitorie- 
and dining hall, chapel, manual training hall, stables and boathouse. All were 
to be very elaborate. The ball of administration and belles lettres, as the bids 
later indicated, would cost a sum ti\e times the anmunt paid in tiie construction 
of the present Denny Hall. 

At a meeting of the commission, iield in ()I\ni])ia on .\ugust 20, 1891, the 
board was ordered to advertise in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Tacoma Ledger, 
Spokane Chronicle and Walla Walla Statesman for proposals for the materials 
and labor necessary to construct the hall of administration and belles lettres. 
I'ive firms submitted bids, for labor and materials taken together in one 
contract, at sums ranging from $479,000 to .S'')47,ooo. ,\11 were rejected, how- 
ever, first, because they were conditional to letting the contracts for both lal)or 
and materials to one and the same bidder, and second, each bid was deemerl ion 
high. Upon the architect's opinion that the same buildings could be constructed 
for less money if the university undertook the labor part itself, the commission 
decided to jjublisb notices inviting bids for material only. On September 2('), 


1 89 1, advertisements appeared in the Seattle Telegraph, Tacoma News, Spokane 
Re\iew and Walla Walla Union-Journal, calling for separate bids for stone, 
brick, sand, lime and cement. 

Meanwhile, commencing August 10th, the engineer, Fred G. Plummer, with 
100 men, was busy clearing the grounds, and incurring a daily expense of $350. 

These elaborate efforts, however, were not appreciated by a critical public, 
which quickly raisetl a cry against such extravagance. When one looks back 
upon the struggle which the university has had to obtain fvmds, even in recent 
years, a just appreciation of the charge of extravagance is ubtaine<l. I'.ut the 
commission went on, ignoring the charge, until a series of letters began to 
appear in one of the Seattle dailies calling the attention of the public to the fact 
that the issuance of state warrants by tlie auditor at the direction of the land and 
building commission w'as illegal under the new constitution. The notice of the 
auditor was directed to the matter, and after a few days of deliberation he 
decided to suspend the issue of any more warrants initil such time as the attorney- 
general or the Supreme Court could pass upon the legality of his action. This was 
on October 7, 1891, and the warrants for September's work w^ere due the men 
engaged in clearing the new grounds. 

ISalked by the auditor the commission held a hasty meeting on October 8th, 
and telegraphed the governor, requesting his presence at a meeting to be held 
on the Qth, at either Seattle or Olympia, as would be convenient for him. All 
the members of the commission and his excellency. Governor Ferry, ex officio 
president, and the state auditor, T. M. Reed, w^ere present at the meeting held 
in Olympia. The latter stated that he had come to the conclusion, after due 
deliberation, not to issue more warrants, and that he would not, even upon the 
advice of the attorney-general, do so until the Supreme Court had decided he 
had a lawful right to issue them. 

The commission, of course, was obliged to suspend all further work of 

As there was now due the laborers employed by the commission some $5,000 
for work done in September, the withholding of which would inflict great hard- 
ship and wrong upon them, the auditor stated that he would assume the respon- 
sibility of delivering to the commission the warrants in payment for all work 
done up to and including the 30th day of September, 1891, which was done. 

The commission had already decided to take the matter into the courts 
with a test case. On October 10, 1891. iMr. Arthur and Mr. Hayden called 
upon the state treasurer, Mr. A. A. Lindsley, and jiresented to him warrant No. 
65, issued on 5th day of October, 1891, by the state auditor, in payment for the 
publication, in the Walla Walla Statesman, of the notice to contractois, etc.. for 
the indorsement thereon by the said treasurer of its non-payment for want of 
funds. The treasurer refused to make such indorsement thereon, alleging, as 
his reason, that in his judgment the state auditor had no legal right to issue any 
warrants upon the university fund ; he further stated that he would not, until 
the .Supreme Court had decided that the auditor had a legal right to issue such 
warrants, make such indorsements upon any more warrants drawn upon the 
imiversity fund. 

The case turned upon section 4 of article 8 of the constitution, which reads : 

"No moneys shall be paid out of the treasury of this state, or any of its funds. 


or any of the fiiiuls under its management, except in pursuance of an appropria- 
tion by law; nor unless such payments be made within two years from the 1st 
day of May next after the passage of such appropriation act, and every sucii law 
making new appropriation, or continuing or receiving an appropriation, shall 
distinctly specify the sum apjiropriated, and the oliject to which it is to be 
applied, and it shall not be sufficient for such law to refer to any other law 
to fix such sum." 

The Supreme Court held this ])rovision to be a])])Iical)le, and decided that 
no money could be jiaid out of the treasury untler the act. and thai Uie auditor 
had no right to issue warrants on the university fund for want of specific 
approjjriation. The court further stated, however, that it was not its intention 
to infer that the auditor might not examine and ap|)rove an account against the 
state for the expenses of one of its public institutions where no ap])ropriation 
had been made, or where by unforeseen circumstances the ai)])ropriation made 
had been exhausted, provided, of course, he did not issue a warrant therefor. 

Under this intimation the auditor felt justified in issuing certificates of 
indebtedness on accounts approved by the commission, and thus those who had 
been engaged in good faith were not suffered to lose the result of their labors. 

The bids for construction were returned, unopened. 

The commission could do little more than wait until a new Legislature should 
convene, but in the meantime sentiment had changed so ])rofoundly that those 
who in 1891 had thought it most expedient to place the work in the hands of 
a commission were now duly certain that the commission ought to be al)olished 
lid some arrangement made whereby the regents could have charge. The 
■ ninmission carried the issue into the political campaign but lost, and the Legisla- 
ture which convened was hostile to their cause. 

On March 14, 1893, an act "providing for the location, construction and 
maintenance of the Universitj' of Wa.shington, and making an appropriation 
therefor, and declaring an emergency" was approved. This act abolished ilic 
university land and building commission in favor of the regents. The governor 
as agent of the state was to purchase the entire amount of fractional section 
16, and the regents were to appoint three persons to supervise, under their 
authority, the construction of a new main building after a design selected through 
competition. Furthermore, the ten-acre tract was to be sold only upon a six- 
eighths affirmative vote of the regents. The sum of $150,000 was voted for the 
work, and to expedite the construction, an emergency was declared making the 
act operative when approved. As a kind of good-will offering, the act gave 
to the new university one-half of the I'ederal grant of joo.cxio acres made to 
the state in the enabling act of 1889 for charitable purposes. 

This act wa's without doubt the most important ever made in the history of 
the institution, save, of course, the one which brought the university into being. 
Its author was Representative Edmond S. Meany of the class of 1885. When 
Kcv. Daniel Bagley heard of it he said : "They call me 'father of the university.' 
No, 1 am not the 'father' any longer, but the "grandfather,' and this young fellow 
is the 'father.' " Mr. Bagley is still the "father of the university." but Mr. Meany 
has obtained by other great works the sobriquet of "the ideal alumnus." 

In obedience to this act Gov. John II. McCiraw purch;ised the new site of the 
state land commission at its ajiiiraiscd \ahu-, wliirh was $28,313.75, and the 


regents went forward with the work of construction. Fred G. Plummer, former 
engineer with the university land and building commission, was engaged to make 
a plat of the new grounds, select the most likely sites for new buildings, and 
devise the best means for improving the surrovuidings. A number of laborers 
was engaged in grubbing out stumps and clearing the ground. To add a touch 
of beauty to the campus Henry H. Hindshaw, one of the landscape architects of 
the World's Columbian Exposition, was engaged to outline roadways and to 
design tree clusters. 

On October 30, 1893, advertisements were started in the Spokane, Seattle 
and Tacoma papers giving notice that the design for the newimain hall would be 
selected by competition, and that the winner of the contest would receive as a 
prize the sum of $1,000 and the position of university architect during the con- 
struction of the same. Considerable red tape was mvoKed in order to make 
the contest thoroughly competitive. The cost of the finished structure must be 
no more than $125,000. Plans were to be submitted without any marks of 
identification save being accompanied by a sealed letter bearing the architect's 
name. In order to safeguard the university from a possibility of giving a prize 
to a plan whose cost of construction should exceed the $125,000 limit, three 
well-known architects were engaged to expert them. The contest closed on 
February 17, 1894, and after careful deliberation on the part of the regents it 
was found that Charles W. Saunders, of Seattle, was the winner. 

Calls for bids for the construction of the work were advertised, and opened 
May 9, 1894. All told, seventeen firms entered, with proposals ranging from 
$112,000 to $135,000. The contract was awarded to Messrs. Cameron & Ashen- 
felter, of Spokane, who agreed to finish the work by March i, 1895. 

The laying of the cornerstone took place on the 4th of July, 1894. Some of 
the old timers who had witnessed a similar ceremony in 1861 on the old campus 
were present. The chief speeches were made by Rev. Daniel Bagley and Arthur 
A. Denny. When the cornerstone for the old building was laid in 1861, a 
copper box containing portions of the Holy Bible was imbedded therein. It 
was deemed appropriate that this box be removed and replaced in the new 
cornerstone. The box was produced from its long burial, opened, additional 
documents deposited, and then reimbedded in the new cornerstone. At this 
christening the building was called Administration Building but before comple- 
tion was renamed Denny Hall in honor of Mr. Arthur A. Denny. 

There was considerable money remaining from the original $150,000 appro- 
priated in 1893. When Lieut. John L. Flayden, professor of military tactics, 
heard of this he made tip his mind that a good way to spend it would be in the 
construction of a drill hall and gymnasium. As his father was one of the regents 
little difficulty was experienced in getting the funds. Labor and materials were 
unusually cheap, incident to the hard times following the panic, so that the com- 
pleted structure cost but little more than $7,000. A water and power plant was 
also constructed at this time. 

It happened that there was some stone left over from the construction of 
Denny Hall and this was utilized in erecting an observatory building. 

The removing of the university had created the problem of the disposal of 
the ten-acre tract. By the act of March 7. 1891. the university land and building 
commission had been authorized to sell at auction to the highest bidder if the 


aiuoiint oflered equalled ilic appraised value, but no bid suflicienlly large had been 
forthcoming. By the act approved March 14, 1893, the regents had been 
authorized to sell, but only upon a six-eighths affirmative vote of their number. 
The hard times incident to the panic had so cheapened realty values that it was 
doubtful if one-third of the true value of the land could have been obtained, 
while the "six-eighths vote" restrictive clause acted as a check upon any unwise 
sale. So the difficulty in securing a worthy offer, together with the belief that 
the growth of Seattle would render the property at the end of a few years of 
very great value, caused both regents and public gradually to unite on a policy 
to lease rather than to sell. 

.•\I)Out i^'97 the old building was rented to Seattle School District No. i, 
which occupied it for a time, after which the Seattle Public Library rented it. 
Old North Hall, formerly used as a dormitory, became the temporary head- 
quarters of the law school. The United States Government wa3 looking for a 
site upon which to construct a Federal building, and the regents, considering 
that the erection of such a stnicture upon their tract would greatly enhance the 
remaining portion, consented to sell a strip 64 by 240 feet at its appraised value, 
which was $25,000. 

The city, by 1898, had somewhat recovered from the financial depression, 
and offers to lease began to pour into the regents' office. Having fixed definitely 
upon a policy to lease, and deeming that the time for doing so was appropriate, 
the regents advertised in the Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane papers for offers, 
reserving accommodations for a law school, a business office and meeting room 
for the board. 

One of the offers was accepted. This provided for a thirty-year lease, with 
I lain reservations for the use of the university. The lessee was to pay a 
rental of $32,500 and to make permanent improvements to the amount of 
$452,500. The improvements were to be of a substantial character, and all 
buildings to be of brick. Such improvements and buildings, when completed, 
were immediately to become the property of the state. 

When the lease was ready for delivery, but before it was delivered, the state 
land commission advanced the claim that the board of regents had no authority 
to dispose of any university land, and the lessee refused to go further until 
assured of his title. 

The state land commission contended that by virtue of certain acts passed in 
1893, 1895 and 1897, such right was vested solely in them. The regents disputed 
their contention and promptly instituted suit in the name of one of their number, 
Richard Winsor, against S. A. Calvert, commissioner of public lands, and won 
their case in the Superior Court of King County, from which court the case was 
appealed to the Supreme Court, where the regents again won. The decision was 
handed down on November 27, 1901, the syllabus of which is as follows: 

"The authority vested in the board of regents of the state university by the 
act of March 14, 1893, to sell the state university site in the City of Seattle, 
which had been originally donated for university purposes, and apply the proceeds 
of sale towards the purchase and construction of a new site and building, was not 
abrogated so as to vest the power of sale in the state land commissioners by the 
passage of the act of March 15, 1893, which provides that the said board of 
state land commissioners should have full supervision and control of all public 

Vol.1 _u 


lands granted to the state for common school, university and all other educational 
purposes, and should possess and exercise over such lands all the authority, 
power and functions and should perform all the duties which the state land 
commission, the state school land commission and the state board of equaliza- 
tion and appeal for the appraisement of tide and shore lands had exercised, since 
the latter act expressly restricted its operation by making it apply to public lands 
only 'so far as the same shall not have been disposed of and not appropriated 
by law to any specific public use.' " 

On December 23, 1902, the tract was leased to the University Site Improve- 
ment Company. The lease provided for a cash rental of 2 per cent on a valuation 
of $300,000 for the first five years; 3 per cent on the same valuation for the 
second five years, and thereafter 3 per cent on a valuation to be hxed by 
appraisers appointed every ten years. In addition to the cash rental, the lessees 
bound themselves to expend during the first ten years of the lease at least 
$100,000 in permanent improvements (exclusive of buildings), such as grading, 
paving, sewers, sidewalks, etc. They were permitted to erect only brick or stone 
buildings of first-class character. All buildings and improvements, when erected 
or constructed, became at once the property of the state. 

The University Site Improvement Company failed to carry out the provisions 
of its lease and on October i, 1904, the lease was declared forfeited. 

On November i, 1904. a new lease covering the same tract was entered into 
with James A. ]\Ioore, of Seattle, for a period of fifty years, under which the 
lessee agreed to pay for the first three years a cash rental of $6,000 per annum ; 
for the next five years $9,000 per annum; for the next ten years 3 per cent 
per annum of the appraised valuation of the land as fixed by a board of 
appraisers to be chosen by the parties ; for the next ten years 4 per cent per annum, 
and for the last twenty-two years 6 per cent per annum of the appraised valua- 
tion, and the lessee further agreed during the first eight years to place upon the 
property improvements in the way of grading, paving, sewers, sidewalks, to the 
value of $85,000. The buildings were to be of brick or stone only and of first- 
class character. All improvements and buildings, when constructed or erected, 
became at once the property 'of the state. 

This lease, with some amendments, was continued with the Metropolitan 
Building Company, successors to James A. jMoore, under a forty-seven-year 
lease bearing the date of IQ07. The following table, prepared by the regents in 
their report to the governor for 1913, will give some idea of the expected annual 
rental : 

Period Rate Est. ^^alue Annual Rent 

1907-1912 3 per cent $ 500,000.00 S 15,000.00 

1912-1922 4 per cent 1,000,000.00 40,000.00 

1922- 1932 4 per cent 2,000,000.00 80,000.00 

1932-1942 4 per cent 2.500.000.00 100.000.00 

1 942- 1 954 4 per cent 3.500.000.00 140.000.00 

Up to 1916 the Metropolitan lUiilding Company has erected the following 
structures : Post-Intelligencer Building, Henry Building, Stuart Building, White 
Building, Metropolitan Theater, Cobb Building and the Arena. The last men- 


tioned structure has not at this writing been accepted by the regents as coming 
under the head of a permanent building as provided for in the lease. 

Prior to March 14, 1903, the right to dispose of all university lands, save 
those ajipropriated by law to some specific use (as, for examples, the ten-acre 
tract and the present university campus), was vested in the state board of land 
commissioners. By an act approved March 14. 1903, the commissioner of public 
lands was ordered to ascertain the amount of all unsold lands granted to the state 
by the enabling act of February 22, 1889, and assigned to the supjrort of the uni- 
versity by the act of March 4. 1893; and to record a description of the same in 
a book provided for the purpose, a copy of which was to be tiled with the regents. 
By this same act it was provided that "thereafter such lands shall never be sold, 
encumbered, or otherwise disposed of, except by and with the consent of the 
board of regents of the University of Washington." 

The act, however, came too late to save a very valuable tract of land which, 
like most of the university lands, was frittered away by those unfaithful to their 
trust. The regents of the old university had loaned $3,000 to Thomas Chambers 
and wife, taking as security a mortgage on the Chamber's donation land claim, 
situated near Steilacoom, Pierce County, in sections 28 and 29, township 20, 
range 2 east. The rate of interest charged in those days w-as very high and the 
Chambers, after struggling along unsuccessfully, w^ere obliged to pay their obliga- 
tion by deeding to the regents 315 acres of the land. This was accomplished on 
July 16, 1866. On March 4, 1903, the state land commissioner sold this tract, 
which in the meanwhile had become very valuable, at the minimum rate of $10 
per acre, to Henry Bucy, who in turn disposed of it to the Hewitt Land Company. 
Later a right-of-way strip was sold to the Northern Pacific Railroad for a sum 
said to be $20,000. Those connected with the university were deei)ly chagrined 
at this transaction and would not admit of its legality. The board of regents 
ignored the entire procedure and even as late as 1913 listed the tract as ■■uni\ersity 
lands" in their reports to the governor. Suit was commenced to eject those in 
possession and to return the property to the state; but in both Superior and 
Sujjreme Courts the regents lost. In State v. Hewitt Land Company the court 
held that the transfer was legal. By acts passed in 1893, 1895 and 1897, the 
state land commission had been given full supervision and control o\er all 
university lands T\ot appropriated by law "to any specific use," and as this land 
was some fifty miles from the university and had never been so appropriated 
by law, the right to dispose of the same was vested solely in the state land 
commission. • 

Xo profound diange occurred with the transfer of the university. It was 
just the old school in a new building. Faculty, curricula and student body 
remained about the same. The institution, however, could no longer be dubbed 
"Seattle High School," but it was very local. Of the 310 students registered, 
two-thirds came from places which are- now within the city limits; the greater 
portion of the remainder was from King County and Puget Sound points; a 
few scattering resided east of the mountains. There was none from other states, 
although one student registered from .Alaska and another from Japan. 

The professors, eleven in number, including the president, who taught, were 
greatly overburdened with subjects. We of to-day who demand a high degree 
of specialization, cannot but feel amused at the pretensions of the teachers who 


not only covered an entire field but ofttimes handled additional classes outside of 
their field. All of which reminds one of the famous story told at the expense of 
ex-Prof. O. B. Johnson. When President Charles W. Eliot, of Harvard, was a 
visitor to the university he asked Professor Johnson what chair he occupied. 
'T don't know what chair you would call it, Mr. President. I teach zoology, 
botany, physiology, physics, astronomy and — •" 

"Oh, yes, I see. 1 see. You don't occupy a chair. You occupy a settee." 

All of the professors occupied "settees," and when we consider that both 
president and registrar taught classes as well as performed duties incident to 
their offices we wonder what they "occupied." In matters of instruction chief 
emphasis was upon the classics. Pure science came next in attention, and one 
sees in the courses of geology and mineralogy the beginnings of the professional 
colleges of engineering. Schools of pharmacy and medicine were scheduled as 
post-graduate courses, but through lack of funds instruction had not materialized. 
Attempts had been made to establish a law school on two diflerent occasions, but 
without success. The registrar, Edmond S. Meany, was beginning his lectures 
on "Washington Forestry" which were destined to develop into the college of 
forestry. The preparatory school had been abandoned, and the two-year normal 
course in the spring of 1896. Much difficulty was experienced by the fact that 
the high school system of the state was inefficient and unable to suitably prepare 
its pupils to meet the entrance standards of the university. 

The university still smacked of narrowness, as is evidenced by the following 
announcement taken from the catalogue: "The professor (Doctor Hamilton) 
will lecture once each week upon topics within that range of investigation which 
is common to religion and philosophy. The object will be to show how nature 
and revelation, when both are rightly interpreted, are in harmony with each 

All the courses, save military tactics, physical education and astronomy, were 
scheduled in the one building. The basement was given over to the laboratories — 
chemical, biological, mineralogical and pharmaceutical. On the main floor were 
located the executive offices, museum, some recitation rooms and cloak rooms. 
The second floor had been designed especially for recitation classes. The library, 
school of music and literary societies were housed on the third floor. The winged 
portion had been constructed for an assembly hall with stage and gallery. 

President Gatch was past sixty, and he realized, as did others, that the 
increased duties of the university, incident to its removal, required the services 
of a younger man. He had been with the university since 1887. His resignation, 
made during the removal, was acceptable, but was looked upon with regret as 
the Gatch family was much beloved by all. Dr. Gatch was prevailed upon to 
accept less strenuous duties in the form of a professorship of political and social 
science, and in that capacity remained with the university until 1896 when he 
accepted the presidency of the Oregon Agricultural College. There he remained 
until 1907 when he retired after fifty-nine years spent in educational work. 

The selection of a successor was made with considerable deliberation. A long 
personal interview was obtained with President David Starr Jordan of Leland 
Stanford, Jr., University, and an extensive correspondence was carried on with 
the principal educational men of the United States. The result was the choice 
and election of Mark Walrod Harrington. President Harrington was born at 

. i 


Sycamore, Illinois, August i8, 1848. lie attended tlie University of Michigan 
where he received in 1867 the degree of Bachelor of Arts and the year fol- 
lowing the Master's degree. For a number of years following he traveled 
extensively in all parts of the world. In 1878 he accepted the chair of 
astronomy at the University of Michigan which position he held until 1891. 
His researches at the astronomical laboratory led to the discovery of many 
important advances in meteorology. He was a contributor to the American 
Meteorological Journal, founded by himself in 1884, and author of "'Sensible 
I cmperatures." His work attracted the attention of eminent scientists. About 
1S90 many persons were advocating the transfer of the weather bureau from the 
dii)artnient of war to the department of agriculture. Professor Harrington read 
"i this proposed change and prepared his views for publication in one of the 
leading magazines. The secretary of agriculture, Mr. Rusk, was very much 
Iileascd with Professor Harrington's ideas, and offered him the position of chief 
■ :\ the weather bureau, which was accepted. In the weather department Professor 
Harrington reached his greatest eminence. His term of university service was 
short, for he became gradually stricken with a form of insanity occasioned without 
doubt by too constant attention to his researches, and resigned March 24, 1897. 
•After a two years' travel about the world he returned to Seattle in a hoi)eless 
condition. Later he disappeared and was located some years after in a New 
Jersey hospital. 

During President Harrington's brief incumbency the university made con- 
siderable advance in scholarship, and passed from a school to a true university. 
The university was organized into six colleges, viz : College of Literature, Science, 
and the Liberal Arts; leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, 
and Doctor of Philosophy; the College of Engineering, leading to the degree of 
Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineer, and Metallurgical Chemist; the College of 
Mines and Mining, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science, Mining Engineer, 
and Metallurgical Chemist; the College of Chemistry, leading to the degree of 
Bachelor of Science, Pharmaceutical Chemist, and Analytical Chemist; the Col- 
lege of Medicine and Surgery, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science, 
Doctor of Medicine and Surgery, and Doctor of Dental Surgery, but the course 
leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science was the only one the university was 
lireparcil tn give at this time. Military Science and Tactics was made a dejiart- 

It is noticeable that there are no "deans" of the above college. The organiza- 
tion of the university into colleges was of the greatest importance but most of 
ibc colleges were- "on paper." The authorities had neither the men nor the 
i(|uipment to take up applied engineering, besides, the student body of the state 
was hardly prepared for advanced work. 

L'jion President Harrington's resignation, March 4, 1897, i'rof. William 
I'ranklin Edwards, of the faculty since 1895, was elected. President Edwards 
was the son of a missionary to Turkey. He was graduated from the University 
of Michigan in 1890, and would have entered the ministry had not his original 
views on matters of religion changed, and he turned to the field of education as 
a life work. He accepted the chair of physics in the University of Washington 
in 1895. and as a teacher and organizer exhibited rare ability. President Harring- 
ton's disability in the middle of the school year made it necessary to secure a 


successor with some promptness. Professor Edwards had made such an excellent 
showing in arranging the laboratories and scientific apparatus in the new building 
at the time of the removal that he was regarded with favor, and elected. The 
choice soon proved a great disappointment to all. He possessed little executive 
ability, and in the carrying out of his impracticable plans incurred the enmity 
of many factions. His standards of scholarship were those of the settled East. 
It was his aim to organize the institution on a strictly university basis with heavy 
emphasis on post-graduate work. The preparatory department, which was a 
necessity at that time on account of the primitiveness of the secondary school 
system of the state, President Edwards would eliminate at once. His extreme 
ideas brought him into disfavor, and this, augmented by his taking sides in a relig- 
ious squabble, incurred the enmity of so many persons that his resignation, on 
October i, 1897, was regarded by all as a great relief. Mr. Edwards left Seattle 
soon afterwards and headed a private military school in Michigan, for a short 
time, after which he returned to the West and entered upon a mining career. 

Professor Charles Francis Reeves, of the department of modern languages, 
was made acting-president. He was born in Allentown, New Jersey, October 7, 
1854, and graduated from Pennsylvania State College in 1878. In 1881 he 
received the degree of Master of Science from the same institution. After his 
graduation he served as professor of modern languages and librarian at his alma 
mater until 1890. During this time he traveled extensively in Europe. After 
1890 he entered the business field, but gave this up in 1895 to accept the chair 
of modern languages in the University of Washington. Professor Reeves 
administered the duties of president's office satisfactorily until a successor was 
chosen. After that event he continued with the university until 1903, when 
he re-entered the business field. He is now engaged in the real estate business in 

Frank Pierrepont Graves was elected president August i. 1896. He was 
born in Brooklyn, New York, June 23, 1869, and studied at Columbia University, 
where he took the degree of Bachelor and Master of Arts in 1890 and 1891. In 
1892 he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from Boston University. 
Heidelberg University in Ohio honored him with the degree of Doctor of Litera- 
ture in i8(X3 and Hanover College with the degree of Doctor of Laws in 1897. 
In his teaching he was equally successful. He was professor of classical philology 
at Tufts College from 1891-96; president of the University of Wyoming from 
1896-98; and because of his success both as scholar and executive he was chosen 
president of the University of Washington. His arrival was quite timely, for the 
university had been rent by politics and internal strife. 

With his arrival came Almon H. Fuller who was to be professor of engineer- 
ing, and who placed these professional colleges on a sound basis. Several 
attempts had been made to create a law school, and although projected on paper 
since the university had moved, actual instruction had not materialized. The 
present school of law was established by the board of regents in ^lay, 1899, with 
John T. Condon as professor of law and dean. There being no building on the 
campus the school was held downtown. In the fall of this year, 1899, the school 
of mines was established as a distinct college. 

In 1899 the new office of "dean" was created, and the various colleges which 


had been organized in 1896 had responsible heads. Martha Lois Ilansee was 
elected dean of women. 

In January, 1900, two dormitories, one for men and another for women, each 
costing $25.cxx). were occupied. They were given no names, but .shortly before 
the Alaska-Vukon-l'acitic expo^tion they were known as Lewis and Clark Halls, 

The legislature of lyoi made appropriations for the erection of a science hall 
and a new power plant. The structures were occupied during the school year, 
1902-03. The old power plant was subsequently used as a pumping station. 

Many attempts had been made to discontinue the ])reparatory school, but 
without success. The school system of the state at large was so |)rimitive and 
inadequate that the university had been obliged to supplement its work of 
elenientarv instruction. The abandonment of this school work took place with 
the o])ening of the university in the fall of 1902, and no new preparatory students 
were received. The school continued for an additional year until those students 
on hand could meet the entrance requirements, and since that year has never been 

On January i, 1903, Doctor Graves tendered his resignation to accept a profes- 
sorship in the department of education in the University of Missouri. Thomas 
Franklin Kane, of the Latin department, was chosen acting-president and later 
liresident. President Kane was born May 5, 1863, at Westfield, Indiana, and 
following a common school education entered De Pauw University, where he 
graduated in 1888. From 1888 to 1891 he taught Latin at Lewis College, serving, 
during the last year, as acting-president. In 1891 he received the degree of Master 
of Arts from De I'auw University. The years 1893-95 were spent in graduate 
study at Johns Hopkins University as Lewis College fellow, for the advanced 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy. From 1895 to 1900 he was professor of Latin 
and part time i)rinci]ial of the preparatory school at Olivet College. He received 
the appointment of professor of Latin at the University of Washington in 1900, 
and served in that capacity until his elevation to the presidency. 

President Graves had made a true university out of the little school which 
had been removed to the new campus, and the period upon which President 
Kane entered was one rather of expansion than of organization. 

Prior to the year 1903-04 the school year had been divided into tiirce terms — 
autumn, winter and spring. This arrangement of the time schedule was super- 
seded by the semester arrangement, or two-term system, which is in vogue in 
all the leading universities, and which lends itself more to the pursuit of advanced 

The installation of a summer school, which had been urged for some time, 
was effected during the summer of 1903. This school was conducted primarily 
to meet the needs of the teachers of the state who felt the necessity of more 
advanced study, and who. in their official organization, the State Teachers' Associ- 
ation, had petitioned the university on two occasions. 

With the exception of the installation of an extension division in May, 1912, 
no profound changes in organization have taken place in the university since the 
above time. The succeeding years are years of growth, expansion, and adapta- 
tion to the needs of the state. 

Shortly after the university removed to the new campus Edmond S. Meany 


began his lectures on Washington Forestry. These lectures continued until 1905. 
when the United States Government designated the University of Washington 
as a site of a government timber testing station. Two years later, in 1907, the 
university installed a college of forestry, with a four-year course in conjunction 
with the government station, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science. 

This same year witnessed the installation of a school of journalism. 

In 1908 the commercial interests of the Northwest were looking for a site 
upon which to stage the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, and entered into 
negotiations with the university authorities to lease the grounds. In the erection 
of the buildings co-operation and understanding prevailed, and at the close of 
the exposition the university fell heir to certain structures. 

The Auditorium (officially named Meany Hall, May i, 1914, in honor of 
Edmond S. Meany), was erected as a permanent structure, and during the 
exposition did service as a concert hall. It seats 2,800 persons. At the present 
time it is used for auditorium purposes and to house the school of music. 

Bagley Hall was named in honor of Rev. Daniel Bagley, the "father of the 
miiversity," and was erected by the exposition as a permanent structure to do 
service as a Fine Arts Building. Bagley Hall is now used by the chemistrv- 
department and the school of pharmacy. 

Education Building was a two-story wooden structure used for educational 
purposes by the exposition, and is now occupied by the departments of journalism, 
education and extension. 

The Engineering Building was erected as a permanent structure to house the 
Machinery Hall of the exposition. 

The Forestry Building was erected by the Washington State Commission 
at an expense of $91,000, and reverted to the university at the close of the 
exposition. The frame work consists of huge columns made from native fir 
trees, varying from five to six feet in diameter and from forty-two to fifty-four 
feet in height. This structure created a profound impression on all who saw 
it, and it served to advertise the state in the East. It was the expectation of 
those who designed and built it that it would be used as a home for the college 
of forestry, but it is ill fitted for such a use. At the present time it is occupied 
by the state museum, which formerly held forth in the old California Building. 
The immense weight of the structure made it necessary to construct a special 
concrete foundation, the expense of which was met from the private purse of 
Samuel Hill. 

The Good Roads Building was erected by the Washington Good Roads Asso- 
ciation at an expense of $10,000, with a special view to turning it over to the 
university at the close of the exposition. For a while it was used to house the 
school of forestry'. 

The Law School had, up to the time of the exposition, held forth in the old 
university building downtown ; after the exposition it moved into the two- 
story structure erected by the Oregon State Commission, which the university 
purchased at a cost of $1,500. The building is also shared with the department 
of German. 

The Library Building was erected by the Washington State Commission for 
reception purposes during the exposition, and was given to the university, which 
occupied it as a library. The structure cost $75,000. and is pleasing in appear- 


aiKf. liotli uilliiii and williout. It has one serious defect in ihal il is not a fire- 
proof buildinfj. Recently fireproof vaults have been provided. 

In a<l(lilion to the above buildings there were many smaller structures which 
fell to the university, some of which were used. The old IIoo Hoc House 
is the haculty Club; the Philippine Building the Mines Rescuing Training Station; 
the Oiiental Building the cadet armory; the Arctic Brotherhood Building the 
Men's Club; the Michigan Club Building the engineer's residence. 

The leading historic figure honored Ijy the exposition was William H. Seward, 
who was instrumental in securing the purchase of Alaska from the Russian 
Government. The New York State Building was designed after the plan of the 
Seward 1 louse in Albany, New York ; his statue was erected in front of the 
jionsc. The latter has been removed to a Seattle park, while the former, with 
-ome retouches, now serves as the residence of the president. 

In 1908 a course in Home Economics was added to the curriculum. Tiic 
Graduate School, which had been operated more in theory than in practice, was 
definitely organized in Hjtxj with a dean in charge. The aim of the university 
is to eventually award the degree of Doctor of rhilosophy, but up to the present 
time only a few departments have felt sufficiently equipped to oflfcr work 
beyond the Master's year. In May, 191 2, the last great advance in organization 
was made when the Extension Division was installed. Through this department 
any person in the state may receive in absentia regular instruction by mail. 
Recently courses in business administration have been given to .Seattle downtown 
business men at the university's offices in the Henry Building. 

In 1907 the Washington University State Historical Society was organized 
with Clarence ]). Bagley as president and Edmond S. Meany as secretary. Its 
object is to encourage historical research. The society publishes the Washington 
Historical Quarterly, which is devoted to histoi'y. Recently the department of 
history has organized a division of northwest historical research under the 
direction of Edmond S. Meany, with Victor J. Earrar as assistant, to collect 
iiistorical documents for the university. 

President Kane proved an excellent teacher and capable administrator, but 
gradually began to lose out as an executive. His resignation was requested 
on various occasions by the board of regents, but refused by President Kane. 
At a meeting of the regents in 1913 he was removed from his position. His 
term was made officially to expire August i, 1914, and he was granted a leave 
of absence to commence January i, 1914. This drastic action at the hands of 
the regents was followed by the dismissal of all but one of the regents at the 
hands of the governor, but the newly appointed regents failed li> rcin-^tate 
President Kane. 

On January i, 1914, Henry Landes, dean of the college ot science, was 
ajipointed acting-])resident, until a successor could be obtained. President 
l.andes was born in Carroll, Indiana, December 22, 1867, the son of Samuel and 
l.ydia (Duncan) I.andis. He received the degree of Bachelor of .Arts from the 
I'niversity of Indiana in 1892, and the Master's degree from Harvard in 1893. 
I'rom 1893-4 'le was assistant to the state geologist of New Jersey; principal of 
the Rockland (Maine) High School 1894-5; and was appointed professor of 
geology in the University of Washington in 1895. In years of service he is the 
oldest man on the faculty. In igoi he became state geologist and in 1913, when 


the College of Science was divided from the former College of Arts and Science, 
he was made dean. 

President Landes had a difficult and thankless position to fill. Flis appoint- 
ment was but a temporary one and there were many disagreeable tasks to perfonn. 
Considerable dissension had broken out among the faculty members, while the 
unpleasant dismissal of President Kane had somewhat discredited the university 
throughout the state. Moreover, a commercial depression had come over the 
entire country', and the State of Washington, heavily taxed, was bent upon 
retrenchment, while the university, in great want, needed immediate and addi- 
tional aid. 

President Landes, as an executive and administrator, proved a great surprise 
to all. He went before the legislature, which was as a whole ill-disposed toward 
the university, and secured funds much greater than were expected. The regents 
were authorized to charge a small tuition fee and mortgage the expected earnings 
of the ten-acre tract, the money to be used in the construction of new buildings. 
President Landes and his wife opened their house to the faculty and student body 
on many occasions and thereby infused considerable democracy into the university 

While many persons continued to demand that a successor to President Kane 
be immediately chosen, the majority began to regard President Landes as a strong 
possibility for permanent president. The one barrier to his candidacy was the 
fact that he was one of the faculty, and the faculty wanted a new man, one who 
would come from fresh fields, free from the suspicions and jealousies incident 
to long service in the same institution. 

After many sessions the committee, composed of faculty and regents, selected 
Henry Suzzallo, professor of education in Columbia University and a graduate 
of a western university, Leland Stanford, Junior, LIniversity. He thus, in a way, 
combined the ideals of the \\'est and the East. 

President Suzzallo was born in San Jose, California, August 22, 1875, the son 
of Peter and Anne Suzzallo. He graduated from the California State Normal 
School in 1895; Leland Stanford. Junior, University, in 1899, with the degree 
of Bachelor of Arts; and from Columbia University in 1905 with the degree of 
Doctor of Philosophy. His teaching experience had been long and successful. 
From 1896-7 and 1899-1901 he was principal of the schools in California; deputy 
superintendent of schools in San Francisco for five months in the years during 
1903, 04, 07; assistant instructor and assistant professor in Stanford University, 
1902-07; professor of education in Columbia LTniversity since 1907. 


The resistless progress of Seattle, like that of other cities grown great in the 
niakiiig, has been measured by the wealth of its homes, the health and intellectual 
\igor of its children. Seattle began wiiii a home, and because it reared itself 
on the foundation of family dwellings and made itself the stamping ground for 
children, it has ever been ready for the task of new accomplishments with a spirit 
of youthful fearlessness in the face of every adversity. 

To say that Seattle is a city of homes and children means first of all that it 
has a goodly supply of schoolhouses. For wherever healthy children abound there 
are certain to be school books, stern school masters and all the burdensome 
instruments for giving youth its first ideas and ambitions. And it speaks w-ell 
for the educational institutions of Seattle today that wherever her staunch 
pioneers and builders have reached the end of their road, the boys and girls they 
have trained always have come to the front, eager and ready with new ideas 
to take up the task of their fathers and carry it to its fulfillment. 

At the very start the clear, vigorous Puget Sound air supjjlied health to 
Seattle's first youngsters. The sturdy pioneers did the rest. .Almost before the 
early settlers had put the finishing touches on their rude homes, there was a 
school in the village. From the start, Seattle become a center of intellectual 
activity. As rapidly as new homes were made and new children came to fill 
them, extensive accommodations were added until today Seattle surpasses many 
of the older cities in the efficiency of its public school systems, its libraries and its 

In the daily figuring of sums in the first school which Seattle made for itself, 
one lone boy held his own among a bevy of thirteen girls. The boy's name was 
George N. McConaha. 

To add to the setting of Seattle's first institution of learning, the thirtcen-to- 
one classes were held in a building which was erected primarily for the comfort 
of the bachelors of the community. The place. Bachelors' Hall, was built as a 
single men's boarding house in 1853 by W. G. Latimer, whose son, K. H. Latimer, 
is now president of the Dexter Horton National Bank. The school was opened 
in the s])ring of 1854 by Mrs. D. E. Blaine, soon after her arrival in the settlement 
with her husband. It was known at the time as a "subscription school," or one 
in which the parents paid a stipulated sum for the education of their children. 
The enrollment shows that the girls (excluding George) who first attended were 
Mary Mercer, Susan Mercer, Eliza Mercer, .Alice Mercer, Ursula McConaha, 
Laura Bell, Olive Bell, \'irginia Bell, Rebecca Horton. Leonora Denny, Loretta 
Denny, Hulda rhillips. Ruby Willanl. 

The words of Mrs. Blaine many years later when she recalled her pioneer 
experience as a school teacher are characteristic of the whole-hearted way in 



which the city's fathers and mothers did their preparatory work of planning and 
building : 

'T do not recollect anything particularly interesting about the school except 
this — Nowadays the school children have Saturday as a holiday; I didn't have it 
that way; Monday was my holiday because, you see, Alonday was wash day." 
This school came to a sudden end at the outbreak of the Indian disturbances of 
1855-6; but the work so well begun in Bachelors' Hall was continued later by 
Dorcas Phillips, Edmund Carr, David Graham, Addie Andrews, Edwin Richard- 
son and Daniel Bagley. 

Before the university building was completed one of its rooms was finished 
and. its temporary use for a private school permitted. It was then a long way 
out in the woods and the little children who attended school there had to travel 
a crooked path that wound in and out among the big trees from about Madison 
Street and Third Avenue. This was in the spring of 1862, and Mrs. Ossian J. 
Carr held a class there for three months, with the following pupils enrolled: 
Rebecca Horton, Eugenia McConaha, Loretta Denny, Eunice Russell, Jane Wet- 
more, Mary Boren, Gertrude Boren, Christine DeLin, Mary DeLin, Eva Andrews, 
Inez Denny, Mary J. Denny, Mary White, Ettie Settle, Louisa Coombs, Wm. R. 
Andrews, Robert G. Hayes, George Manchester, John B. Libby, Andrus F. DeLin, 
Wm. Boren, Frank Wetmore, Charlie Clark, Joseph Crow. 

As early as 1861 the task of providing for the children in the rapidly-grflwing 
community was lightened by a special act of the legislature setting apart for 
school purposes all the money arising from licenses and fines paid into the treas- 
ury of King County. By April, 1865, the need of a free common school in 
Seattle was apparent. The town had about seventy-five children above school 
age, many of whom were running wild in the streets. The city fathers were 
urged to arrange to permit all children of Seattle to attend school in the university 
free of cost, the city to reimburse the treasury of the institution for expenses. 
Any additional sum needed was to be raised by taxation, and in this way Seattle 
would have a free public school. One of the first arguments in favor of this 
step was that settlers would not come to a town where their children could not 
receive free public schooling. 

At a school meeting held at Yesler's Hall in March, 1867, the people finally 
made up their minds that all children of school age should be given proper 
educational advantages. The meeting had been called by Rev. George F. Whit- 
worth for the purpose of electing a new board of trustees and a clerk. Gardner 
Kellogg was chosen clerk for three years and D. T. Denny, D. R. Lord, and R. W. 
Pontius, directors. Soon afterward the citizens met again and voted a tax to 
raise money with which to build a district school house. In a large measure 
the university, prior to 1868, provided the school district with instruction, hut 
now the demand was made that the city should become independent of the uni- 
versity and establish a common school of its own. The plan of the building 
was for two stories, the lower story to be occupied by the district school, and 
the upper story by a select, or high school. Every one predicted that with the 
rapid growth of the town such a school building would be absolutely necessary. 
On October 5, 1867, a large meeting of the citizens decided to erect a building 

The records of the district meetings show that on February 10, 1868, the 




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directors were eniijowered to locate and purchase a site for a schoolhouse. On 
lanuary 16, 1869, a tax of eight mills was voted, and on April 20th the four 
lots upon which the first public school building was erected were bought of 
C. C. Terry for $500. At a meeting held August 19, 1869, a five-mill tax was 
levied. Another tax of three mills was voted July 16, 1870. 

The question of a special tax held up the work of construction month after 
month, and it was not until the summer of 1870 that the new school building was 
completed by Shorey & Russell at a cost of $2,500. The house stood at Third 
Avenue and Marion Street and was called the "Central School." It was two 
stories high, 48 feet long and 30 feet wide, with two doors in front enter- 
ing into a large vestibule, from which winding stairs led to the upper story. 
In the rear of the hall was a combined recitation and study room for the pupils 
on the lower floor. The rooms were well lighted and fitted to accommodate about 
one hundred and twenty. About this time, Mrs. A. Vallard announced the open- 
ing of a boarding and day school in the James Welch house on Second Avenue, 
and it was officially announced that the Seattle District School No. i, would 
open on August 15th, under the direction of ^liss L. W. Ordway. Mrs. Vallard 
advertised to teach not only branches comprising a good English education, but 
also plain and fancy sewing. Boys under the age of eight years were admitted 
to this school, though it was called a young ladies' seminary. 

On November 4, 1870, the regular annual school meeting was held in the 
Central schoolhouse. This is the first authentic record of the occupancy of the 

On the day that Miss Ordway opened Seattle's first public school so many 
scholars were present that the teacher was compelled to send home many of the 
smaller ones. She announced that as soon as the lower story should be finished 
there would be ample accommodations for all. Arrangements were made almost 
from the start to secure additional teachers as they should be needed. By May, 
1871, Miss Peebles had charge of the intermediate department of the public 
school and Mrs. C. M. Sanderson, of the primary department. In the intermedi- 
ate department there was an average attendance of fifty pupils; in the primary 
department eighty-four names were on Mrs. Sanderson's roll with ;\ii average 
attendance of more than seventy. 

In September, 1871, Trinity Schools opened here under llie supervision of the 
rector. Rev. R. W. Summers, who was aided by several competent assistants. 
The girls' school was first kept in the rectory and the boys' school in a building, 
erected for the purpose, adjoining the Episcopal Church. 

One of the most astonishing things in the growth of an optimistic city such 
as Seattle was in the early '70s, was the increasing number of children ready to 
go to sciiool. At the close of 1871 there were 294 school children in the district, 
while only 130 of these had been in actual attendance. The directors were 
compelled to establish another school in the north part of town, with additional 
teachers. This school was taught by Miss Parsons. 

In May, 1872, three departments of the public schools were flourishing with 
an attendance of 130 to 135. The senior department was directed by Mrs. Linna 
I'ell, the intermediate by Miss C. E. Parsons, and the primary by Mrs. C. M. 

ihe calling of the first Teachers' Institute in September gave additional 


evidence of the growing importance of Seattle as an educational center. The 
institute was attended by thirty-two men and women teachers. Prof. E. K. 
Hill was elected president; Miss C. E. Parsons, vice president; Mrs. A. A. 
Macintosh, secretary, and Mrs. Linna Bell, treasurer. The exercises included 
recitations, essays, addresses, and discussions of topics of interest to teachers 
and scholars. Before adjournment the institution adopted resolutions expressing 
the need of liberal legislation and an increased rate of taxation for the improve- 
ment of the school system. Another institute was held in Seattle in August of 
the following year. 

In an effort to relieve the increasing congestion the question of more school 
rooms was agitated at a school meeting held March 23, 1872. This move took 
definite shape May 31, 1873, when a tax of four mills was voted and the directors 
were instructed to purchase two lots in each end of town for new buildings. Two 
lots in the south end at the southwest corner of Main Street and Sixth Avenue 
South, were purchased from Thomas Clancy, June 25, 1873, for $765, and two 
from A. A. Denny in the north end, at the corner of Third Avenue and Pine 
Street, luly 10, 1873, for $530. Two buildings of two rooms each, known as the 
North School House and the South School House, were erected on these sites 
during the same year by Charles Coppin, at an aggregate cost of about two 
thousand five hundred dollars. All primary pupils living south of Cherry Street 
were required to attend the South School, of which Miss Anna Theobalds was 
principal, with Miss ]\lary A. Smith as assistant. The North School was opened 
by Miss Lizzie Clayton and Miss Agnes Winsor. Mrs. Linna Bell still was in 
active charge of the Central School. The necessity of continued extension of the 
school system and the constant need of additional buildings was demonstrated 
at the close of the year when it was shown that the number of children entered 
in the Seattle public schools had climbed to 480. 

April, 1874, brought a number of startling changes when Prof. John H. Hall, 
formerly president of the university, was placed in charge of the Seattle public 
schools. If there was a storm of protest in recent years when an attempt was made 
to put a ban on the Kangaroo walk and other modem dances, consider the dismay 
when, in 1874, the school directors gave formal notice that they disapproved of 
the attendance of teachers at dances and skating rinks during the terms of 
teaching ! 

"The practice of staying up late at night tends to incapacitate the teachers 
for proper attention to their pupils the next day," was the dictum of the directors. 

Another innovation was a system of honor rolls and blacklists, calculated to 
spur the more slothful scholars on to the heights of learning and proper conduct. 
The name of every scholar who was perfect in deportment for a whole week 
was entered on the Roll of Honor, where it remained until forfeited by one 
imperfect day. Similarly the name of each one imperfect for an entire week 
was put on the Black List until it was cancelled by one perfect day. The records, 
of course, show that the girls had a monopoly on the Honor Roll over the boys 
in the ratio of twenty-nine to fourteen. 

The work of grading the schools was also begun under the administration of 
Professor Hall in September, 1874. All pupils in the primer, first, second and 
third readers were assigned to the North and South Schools according to their 
residence. Scholars in the fourth reader occupied the lower rooms of the Central 






■ E a a 1,1 

n ":■ — I 

-' p; 

1 T i 






Buildiiij,', while all jnipils of higher grade were exalted to the upjjer floor of the 
same building. The first night sciiool in the city was established in the same 
year. Professor Hall's announcement said that "at the solicitation of a number of 
residents whose business rendered it impossible to attend a day school he had 
consented to instruct an evening class in the Central lUiilding in ])cnmanship, 
arithmetic and book-keeping, and to teach a full commercial course to those 
desiring it." 

It was due largely to the tireless effort of Professor Hall during this period 
of construction, that the growing city found itself in a position later, in 1882, to 
get the whole school system of Seattle down to a permanent basis. The professor 
was primarily an organizer and a systematizer, a man of energy and originality. 
.\t the close of the first year of his administration Seattle felt that it had a public 
school system of which it could feel justly proud. It boasted of three buildings, 
a cor|)s of six teachers and an enrollment of nearly six hundred children. \et 
the fact that there were actual accommodations for only 308 pu])ils showed that 
the new buildings at best could provide but temporary relief. In the summer of 
1875, the enrollment was increased to 800. The city contiiuied to grow so rapidly 
that the education of its children was always jeopardized by the lack of facilities. 
Every room was overcrowded and a large number of children could not be 
accommodated. As a result, several private schools were established and well 

Meanwhile, in the spring of 1875, Seattle's citizens, old and young, lettered and 
unlettered, were swept away in the wave of a nation-wide spelling craze. Grand- 
parents, fathers and mothers lined u]) in an effort to surpass the youngsters. 
Churches and halls were transformed into veritable sjielling rooms. Then into 
the turmoil of words and letters plunged the Intelligencer in an effort to instil 
some of its customary dignity into the excited community. ■'I'luniniery of that 
kind may do very well for Olympia, but it is not likely to Ije a success here, 
except among the little ones," was the pronouncement which appeared in its 
columns. But the effort to stem the tide failed. The craze continued until oii 
May 22(1, at the call of Principal Hall, a city-wide spelling match was held at the 
Pavilion. The best speller was awarded a ])rize of Webster's unabridged dic- 

This is but one illustration of the personal iiUerest which the builders of 
Seattle had in making their city a center of intellectual as well as industrial and 
commercial greatness. While they were hard at work constructing their buildings 
and thoroughfares, and extending their boundaries, they did not lose sight of the 
necessity of iiUellectual development, even at the expense of indulging in a craze of 
spelling bees. 

-Mthough a change in the assessment law from ^ilay to August, 1876, 
exhausted the iniblic school money and forced the district to borrow or close 
the school, the year saw the opening of an additional school building. .April 
21, 1876. the question of more room was again pressed ui)on the peoi)le. .Among 
the leading citizens who recognized the need of more imposing structures to 
accommodate the growing community was Judge Orange Jacobs. In strong 
terms he ])roteste<l against building any more small schoolhouses. Yet it was 
some time before the peoijle saw the wisdoiu of his words. .A committee was 
ai)pointed to select two lots in Belltown and two in the castem i)ortion of the 


city. A block of- land at Battery Street and Fifth Avenue was selected as the 
location, and at a meeting held later the directors were instructed to purchase the 
lots recommended by the committee. On June 9th the district voted to levy a 
tax of six mills to purchase lots and build schoolhouses, accordingly two lots 
were bought of Mr. Bell, June 23d, for $220. Instead of buying the two lots 
recommended by the committee in the eastern part of the town on the hill above 
Ninth Street better counsel prevailed and the beautiful Ellis Block on Sixth Ave- 
nue, between Marion and Madison, later occupied by the Central School, was 
])urchased July 14, 1876, from Angus Mackintosh for $3,134.60. This was a big 
step forward. It was thought advisable to build a temporary structure here — 
one that would answer the purpose imtil means could be obtained to build a 
permanent structure. 

On June 22, 1876, the board of directors entered into a contract with M. 
Keezer to put up a two-story school building on the lots in Belltown at a cost of 
,$2,609. The house was completed September 4th. Later, on May 13, 1884, the 
property was sold for $2,675, but the district continued to use it for school 
purposes until the end of June, 1884. 

The following were the schools and teachers of Seattle in September, 1876: 
Central School, Mr. E. S. Ingraham and Miss Chatham; South School, Miss 
Bean and Miss McCarty; North School, Miss Freeland and Miss Wilcox; Bell- 
town School, Mrs. Pierce. Mr. Ingraham was general superintendent of the four 
schools in addition to his duties as teacher in the Central School. Mrs. Ada 
W. Thayer opened a select private school in Gardner Kellogg's residence on First 
.'\venue in September; she gave instruction in French, German and English 
literature, etc. 

At a special meeting of the directors, held May 7, 1877, '' contract for the 
construction of a schoolhouse on the Sixth Avenue block was let to Charles 
Coppin for $1,200. The building was accepted by the board August loth and 
was occupied for school purposes the following September under the direction 
of Mrs. Pierce. The building remained in use until ?klay, 1884, when it was sold 
for $130 and moved to an adjoining lot. 

In 1S80 Seattle was called the ''City of Schools," having the university, five 
public schools and three private schools and employing twenty-four teachers, and 
educating between seven hundred and eight hundred children. This was con- 
sidered excellent for a city of less than four thousand people. 

For a long time the Catholics had planned here a school for young ladies. 
Late in August, Mother Oliver, of Canada, of the Order of the Sisters of the 
Holy Names, and Sister Mary Dolores, Mother Superior at Portland, of the same 
order, came here and ratified the purchase of a tract 120 by 240 feet on Second 
Avenue between Seneca and L^niversity — Lots two, three, six, seven, block eight, 
Denny's Addition, for which $6,800 was paid. Plans to erect the buildings and 
open the school at an early day w-ere made while they were here. 

Early in the following year, the average attendance had increased to 500, and 
the force of teachers to ten, and the temporary use of the university was again 
secured to relieve the over-crowded condition of the schools. 

The histor\f of the city's public schools thus far was the story of a long series 
■of handicaps with the necessity of resorting to makeshifts and temporary quarters 
to provide for the schooling of Seattle's many youngsters. Seattle's right to be 

lll.^iUkV OF SnATTI.l-: 167 

called a "City of Children" had been proven beyond doubt, and also beyond 
all reasonable financial convenience. An army of children was here and every 
stork brought new reinforcements. Now it followed that the city came to be 
known as the "City of Schools," and in 1880 its citizens were ready to launch 
the first big movement in the beginning of the elaborate, permanent system of 
today. If history may be divided into epochs, the early '80s may be said to mark 
the turning point between Seattle's ancient and modern schools. 

In May, 1881, the directors made a move to secure more school room. The 
question of selling the Central School property on Third Avenue was submitted 
to the district, but the proposition was voted down. The next move of the board 
was to call a meeting for the purpose of voting a special tax. The meeting was 
held June 25th; but the tax was not forthcoming. The members of the board 
felt they had done their duty but the people were not with them. They saw that 
something must be done to arouse the people. All the available room in the 
buildings was filled with seats and still the number of pupils was much greater 
than the seating capacity. 

In November, 1881, John Keenan became chainnan of the board. lie made 
up his mind he would get the needed school room. So he decided to call a mass 
meeting of the citizens and to ask some of the leading lawyers to address the 
people. In the minutes of a meeting of the board, held November 25th, may be 
found the following: "On motion, the clerk was instructed to write Orange 
Jacobs, J. R. Lewis, Thos. Burke and W. H. White to meet this board in confer- 
ence on school matters Friday, December i, 1S81." In response Jacobs and 
"■urke met with the board. Matters were thoroughly discussed and a big move 
A\ along the line" was decided on. The two citizens were appointed to visit the 
school and make a report on their efficiency to a mass meeting which was planned. 

"We have had saloon booms and real estate booms, and now for God's sake, 
let's have a school boom!" 

That was the way the boom began, spontaneously, unceremoniously, with a 
speech by Judge J. R. Lewis when he took the chair at a mass meeting' in the 
i'avilion in January, i<S82. The report of Judges I'.urke and Jacobs presented to 
this meeting showed that the rooms contained seventy-seven scholars more than 
rhey could seat comfortably and that the children were being crowded into illy- 
ventilated, poorly-lighted rooms, and that the conditions demanded immediate 
change. Resolutions were adopted calling for the construction of a large central 
building at the earliest possible date. A committee was aj)pointed to visit the 
schools and report a plan for such building at the earliest possible date. IncUuled 
in this committee were Rev. J. F. Ellis, William H. White, E. S. Ingraham, and 
Thomas Burke; also, Mrs. Nichols, Mrs. T. S. Russell, Mrs. Grey, Mrs. .A. J. 
.Anderson and Miss Anna Bean. At a subsequent meeting of the committee a sub- 
committee was appointed to visit the Portland schools and another to select a 
site for a second large school building about one mile north of the central building. 
This was the inception of a movement resulting in the erection of two of the 
most notable of Seattle's early school buildings — the Sixth Aveiuic and the 

I he committee visited Portland, investigated the school system there, and in 
February another nias^ meeting was held. Plans were then agreed upon for 
raising $25,000 to Iniild a suitable structure at i-^ixth .\vcnuc. Of course there 

Vnl 11: ^ 


was the usual opposition to the taxation that would be required, but the public- 
spirited class of citizens determined to carry the measure forward. It was a 
question of room; there was plenty of it outdoors, but in this locality it was 
declared, good-naturedly, there were too much rain, wind and bad weather 
generally to make it wise to teach the school children in the open air. 

On April 2. 1882, the citizens of Seattle by a vote of 345 to 97 decided to 
levy a tax of $24,000 to erect the large school building on Sixth Avenue. The 
result was better than the friends of the measure had dared to anticipate. When 
put to the test the movement was found to be extremely popular. The city as a 
whole took great pride in the result. It was seen at once that the new building 
would not only fill a long felt want, but would be an ornament to the city and a 
magnet to attract a large population. 

The Trinity School, established for the promotion of Christian education, 
reopened another schoolhouse in December. 1881. at the corner of Fifth Avenue 
and Spring Street. Girls of any age and boys under ten years were admitted. 
The terms of tuition were $2 and $3 per month, according to grade. At this 
time preparations to instruct older scholars were made. Rev. George H. Watson 
had charge of this school. 

In the spring of 1882, a school for Chinese children was conducted in the 
basement of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the attendance was about 
forty pupils. The primary branches of the English language and the fundamental 
principles of Christianity were taught. Mrs. H. E. Parkhurst and Mrs. Belle 
Thomas were the teachers. The efiforts of these two ladies and of the church to 
better the condition of the Chinese and their customs were commended by the 
newspapers of that date. 

Early in i\Iay, 1882, the coimty commissioners ordered the erection of two 
new school districts from the territory then covered by District No. I. The new 
districts were to be known as Nos. 32 and 33. No. 32 was in the north part of 
the city and No. 33 in the vicinity of Lake Union. In June, the assessed valuation 
in the school districts was $2,885,326. Upon this amount it was necessary to levy 
sufficient tax to raise $25,000 for the new Central Building. The board resolved 
to levy a tax of ten mills on the dollar for that purpose. The plans provided 
for a two-story building 112 by 128 feet, sixty-one feet from the ground to the 
base of the cupola. The building had a solid stone foundation, built si.x feet 
above the ground, a basement with furnaces, playrooms, etc. For the first story 
there were six rooms, 28 by 35 feet, three on each side, with a hallway 14 feet 
wide extending the entire length. The main entrances were reached by a broad 
stone stairway. The second story contained six rooms. This story was reached 
by two separate stairways, leading up from the main hall. Early in July, the 
citizens' committee appointed for that purpose approved the plans for the new 
schoolhouse. They stated that the plans showed the building would be sub- 
stantial, would have an abundance of room, would be well lighted and ventilated 
and if properly heated would answer all purposes. 

One bright morning in May, 1883, E. S. Ingraham. who had occupied the 
first old Central Building for nearly eight years, marched a band of joyous 
pupils to the new Central School, three blocks farther up the hill, where he was 
to continue as their principal. A few months later the old Central was sold at 
auction for $325, and moved to a site on First Avenue and Virginia Street, where 



it continued to be known as Central, but was used as a lodging house. The lots 
on which it stood were sold to M. V. B. Stacy for $30,000. 

.\ Commercial Evening School was opened early in January, 1883, by X. C. 
Ilanscom in the Marshall Building. Basler's liusiness College and Telegraph 
Institute, G. A. Basler, principal, was opened in February on First Avenue. 
Mrs. C. A. Blaine opened a kindergarten school in the North School Building 
in June. The Academy of the Holy Names was completed in September, 1S83, 
at a cost with the lot of $50,000. The main building was 50 by 95 feet, with 
a wing 34 by 38 feet, and was three stories high above the basement. The school 
oi)ened at once with an attendance of tifty scholars taught by six Sisters under 
the direction of Sister Sebastian. The object was to afford young ladies a 
thorough English education based on the principles of the Catholic religion. 

With the completion of the Denny School I'uilding in 1884, at a cost of 
$35,000, the school system had grown great enough to have a city superintendent. 
The Denny School, named in honor of David T. Denny, was built after the 
voters had decided to sell the North School proj^erty in Denny's addition. The 
building stands today as one of the city's landmarks. 

The teachers selected to take charge of the city schools in 1883-4 were as 
follows: E. S. Ingraham, O. S. Jones, B. L. Northrup, Mrs. F. E. Nichols, 
Miss Burrows, Miss Penfield, Mrs. Cass, Mrs. Kenyon, Mrs. Hoyt, Mrs. Pearce, 
Miss Hills, Miss Vrooman, Miss Condon, Miss Piper, Miss Cheasty, Miss 

To E. S. Ingraham, principal of the Central School, belongs the honor of 
being the first city superintendent of schools. His first annual report for the 
year ending Tune 26, 1B85, gives the school board as comjjosed of Judge liurke. 
chairman; Dillis B. Ward and Henry G. Struve, with Angus W. Young as 
school clerk. The total enrollment of the city schools was 1,478, and by this 
time the boys were running a close race with the girls at the rate of 701 to 'j'/'j. 
In 1885 the kindergarten schools were under the management of Miss Alwine 
I'oedisch, a German teacher of wide experience. The tables, chairs, cups, etc., 
of the former school were used in the new one. She gave the children courses 
in calisthenics and in music. The school was held in the North Building. 

The centralization of the high school movement came in January, 1886, when 
the school directors abandoned a plan of supporting a high school department in 
the Denny schoolhouse and transferred the eight pupils there to the Central 
School. In June the first high school class was graduated fr(]ni the ])uljlic 
schools of Seattle at the first annual commencement. The exercises were held 
in Fni'c's Opera House and there were present the teachers. County Super- 
intendent Jones, Governor Squire, and D. B. Ward and H. G. Struve, members 
of the board of directors. The graduates read essays and gave recitations. 
Pierre P. Ferry, now a prominent attorney, delivered an oration on "The Fall 
of the Gladstone Ministry." 

The first annual commencement meant that the foundation of the city's 
permanent school system had been completed. The schools which opened m 
September, 1886, were the University, under President L. J. Powell; Central 
School, 632 pupils. Principal E: S. Ingraham ; Denny School, 364 pupils. Prin- 
cipal O. S. Jones; North School, QO pupils. Principal Miss Minta Foster; Jack- 
son Street School, 19 pupils, Principal Ilettie L. Greene ; Academy of Holy 


Names, 40 pupils, conducted by Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary ; 
German School, 15 pupils, conducted by Rev. G. Graedel, pastor of the German 
Reformed Church; Trinity Parish School, 6 pupils. Principal Mrs. W. A. Mac- 
Pherson ; Kindergarten, 15 pupils, Principal Miss Grace Thorndyke; Miss 
Epler's Private School, 14 pupils. Principal Miss Jennie Epler. The total attend- 
ance of all on the first day was 1,291. 

The teachers of the public schools of Seattle in 1886-7 were as follows: 
E. .S. Ingraham, H. O. Hollenbeck, O. S. Jones, J. S. Houghton, Misses Lizzie 
Ward, Sarah Chatham, Vinnie L. Latimer, Lillian Burrows, Clara Kames, 
Mary E. Condon, Flora S. Parsons, Hettie L. Greene. J. C. Lombard, Minta 
Foster, Tillia L. Piper, C. F. Qieasty, E. A. Shumway, Lizzie E. Twiss, Lulu 
Root, Nettie Dinsmore, J. AI. Vrooman, Mrs. Helen AL Pearce and Z\Irs. F. E. 
Nichols. Grammar school teachers were paid $65 and primary school teachers 
$55 per month. 

In July, 1888, Prof. E. S. Ingraham, who had been at the head of the Seattle 
public schools, retired, but was made principal of the Central School. He had 
been active in his support of law and order at the time of the Chinese riots here 
in 1886. and thereby had incurred the enmity of a certain class in the city, of 
large voting strength. There is no doubt that he and several other male teachers 
in city employ were made to feel the ill will of this class. 

In November, 1888, the directors, Dr. Thomas T. Elinor, J. M. Frink and 
William H. Hughes, called an election to detennine whether $150,000 should 
be voted for the con.struction of new schoolhouses. It was carried by a deci- 
sive vote. 

The year 1889 ^^'^^ '^'^ eventful one in the State of Washington and in all 
of its cities. It was a period of phenomenal growth and of gigantic losses by 
tire. Upon Seattle fell the heaviest financial loss. This year Washington was 
erected into a state, and also the Legislature provided for a radical change in 
the form of .'-Seattle's' municipal government and in the organization of its school 
district. It also ended the first quarter-century of its educational growth. A 
glance at the following figures will afiord knowledge of the magnitude of its 
development. In 1865 there were estimated 75 children of school age; in 1870, 
275: in 1875, 650; in 1880, 1,460; in 1885. 2,900; in 1889, 7,500. The teachers 
for a number of years numbered as follows: In 1884, 17; 1885, 24; 1889, 63. 

-\t the outset of 1890 Seattle boasted of twelve public schools with a total 
registration of 4,374. They were the High School, Central, Denny, South, 
Jackson, Madison, Broadway. \\'est Seattle, Smith's Cove, Fremont. Academy 
of Holy Names, Comstock Educational Institute, iliss B. E. Fisken's Private 
School, Kindergarten School, Puget Sound Business College, Seattle Conservatory 
of Arts, Seattle Female College and the University. 

In March. 1890, the Legislature passed an act establishing a system of common 
schools in cities of 10,000 or more inhabitants and providing for their mainte- 
nance. The act made Seattle a single school district governed by five directors. 

In June, 1890, the school board elected the following principals : Charles 
Fagan, Mercer Street School; F. J. Browne, Jackson Street School; Edwin 
Twitmyer, Minor School ; Earl S. Peet, Pontius School ; P. C. Richardson, Central 
School ; O. S. Jones, Denny School ; J. D. Atkinson, South School. Miss Ken- 
nedy was city superintendent. At this time the school census showed a total 



of 7,t>04 children of school age; children under school age. 3.352. The school 
registry at the close of the year 1889-90 was: boys, 2,389; girls. 2,232; the 
average daily attendance was 2,831. 

Great improvements in modern school work were applied to the lower grades 
during this jjcriod. Instead of a system of repression, one of expression was 
adopted. No longer were pupils required to "sit still and study," but were 
given something to do to cultivate perception and imagination. The result was 
greater interest and a real mental awakening. In the grammar grades the reform 
was even more marked, the children being roused to a line enthusiasm fur their 
studies, duties and social activities. Instruction in ever)' branch was revolu- 
tionized tiiroughout the city schools. Up to this time music and drawing had 
l)eeii taught in each grade of the schools by the individual teacher. This was 
changed in 1 890-1 and special teachers were employed for these branches. The 
several hundred children of school age under twehe years who were kept out of 
school during liie day time by necessity were now provided willi a better 
system of night schools. The schools of the city were united and centralized in 
methods and purpose instead of being continued as formerly merely as so many 
independent establishments without co-ordination. Principals were no longer 
required to spend their time as class instructors, but were expected to studv 
and put in execution measures that would bring greater efficiency to the school 
as a whole. 

In 1890 the higii school for the first time had an indeiJcndeni existence 
apart from the Central School, with a special high school principal, H. P. 
Hollenbeck. The school library contained 343 volumes. It was realized now 
more than ever that juipils needed more exhaustive treatises on history, science, 
literature and art than were found in their text books, and that such advanced 
information could be properly secured only from a good library. The high 
school yet lacked the elements necessary for a preparation for college, because 
it made no provision for any language course other than English. The school 
Jaw up to this time forbade the study of foreign languages in the public schools. 
Latin and Greek were prohibited. Under a new state law, however, the board 
of education was allowed to prescribe the course of study, the exercises, and the 
kind of text books to be used in addition to the text books prescribed by the 
state board for the use of the common schools. Accordingly German and 
Latin were introduced here in 1890-1 but were made optional. 

In 1891 Frank J. Parnard was elected city superintendent and John M. Heston 
iiad been added to the list of principals. 

That Seattle caii boast of such a record of achievement is due largely to 
the character of the men who have stood behind every ef?ort to obtain for the 
Queen City the highest educational standards. They have been sterling men with 
big visions, men who have not been satisfied until every child of school age has 
been given the best that modern education has to offer. When the present 
organization was completed, late in 1889, the first board was composed of 
judge John P. Iloyt, George 11. lleilbron, Win. IL Hughes. J. M. l-"rink, W. M. 
Taylor. Judge Hoyt was chairman. Under the new organization members 
were elected for a three-year term and it became the custom for one of the 
directors who was to retire to serve as president of the board the last year of 
his term, hence the following have served at various times in that capacity : 


J. M. Frink, W. H. Hughes, W. J. Colkett, J. B. MacDougall, A. P. Burvvell, 
C. E. Patterson, E. C. Hughes, Dr. F. H. Coe, John Schram, E. Shorrock, 
F. M. Guion, Edmund Bowden. William Pigott, Everett Smith, F. A. McDonald, 
and Richard Winsor. 

Other prominent citizens who have served as members of the Board of Direc- 
tors include Judge George Donworth, Judge J. T. Ronald, Dr. W. A. Shannon, 
John B. Agen, J. E. Galbraith, Rev. Edw. Lincoln Smith, Chas. L. Denny, 
Dr. G. \'. Calhoun, C. J. Smith, Geo. H. King, T. W. Prosch, Dr. T. T. Alinor, 
Judge Thos. Burke and D. B. Ward. 

The superintendents for the same period were : E. S. Ingraham, Julia E. 
Kennedy, F. J. Barnard (ser\-ed ii years), and Frank B. Cooper (13 years). 
Secretaries: Mrs. H. A. Hawthorne, H. E. Whitney, F. D. Ogden. A. A. 
Guernsey, Lyman Banks (4 years), and Reuben W. Jones (12 years). Of the 
present members of the board, Mr. Shorrock has served 12 years, Mr. Pigott 
5 years, Judge Winsor 3 years, Messrs. Spencer and Eckstein, i year each. 

One of the most interesting phases of the rapid development under the 
direction of these leaders has been the building of high schools as distinct pre- 
paratory schools for the university. When the first high school class was 
graduated in June, 1886, the need of a more complete preparatory course for 
scholars who purposed to continue their studies in the university was recog- 
nized at once. 

By 1894 the following schools and colleges had been added ; Church of the 
Sacred Heart Parochial School, Institute of Our Lady of Lourdes, another 
kindergarten, Mt. Rainier Seminary, North Pacific University, Queen City 
Business College, St. Winifred's Seminary, Seattle Seminary, and Starr's Short- 
hand College. 

In 1897, in addition to the Central in which was also the high school, there 
were the following: Cascade, Columbia, B. F. Day, Denny, Denny-Fuhrman, 
Green Lake, Latona, Mercer, T. T. Alinor, Olympic, Pacific, Queen Anne, Rai- 
nier, Salmon Bay and South. 

Prior to 1903 the names of a good many of the school buildings had been 
changed. The list then included : Audubon, Ballard, Beecher, Broadway, 
Columbia, Central, B. F. Day, Denny, Eastside, Edwards, Emerson, Farragut, 
Franklin, Fulton, Grant, Hawthorne, Irving, Kent, Lee, Lincoln, Longfellow, 
Marshall, Mercer, T. T. Minor, Main, Morse, Peabody, Salmon Bay, Washington, 
Webster, West Seattle and Whitney. 

In 1903 the new private schools and colleges were Boys' and Girls' Aid Soci- 
ety and Industrial School, Industrial School of Washington, International Cor- 
respondence School, Marshall James Nautical. Mortimer Hall Private, Leo's 
Business College, Navigation School, Presbyterian Annex School, Saunderson 
School of Dramatic Art, Seattle Art School, Seattle College for Boys, Vincent 
School of Music : also, there were conducted here seven kindergartens known 
as Brooklyn, Pilgrim's Congregational Church, Jessie B. Carter, Seventh Day 
Adventists, Edith C. Tregoning, Bessie Lewis, and Sixth Avenue. 

All of these improvements and advancements had cost immense sums of 
money and had necessitated the running up of a large indebtedness which, in 
February, 1903, amounted to $1,225,000. But the people did not falter. The 
increase in school population must be taken care of, it was admitted, and the 









people prepared for the issuance of additional bonds and an increase in the 
indebtedness whenever demanded. 

Notwithstanding the large number of new buildings, at least four more were 
now absolutely necessary. At this time the schools were costing the city 
about forty thousand dollars a month. 

If the board of directors found it difficult to i)rovide for the rapidly 
increasing school population the city superintendent and the teachers encoun- 
tered much greater obstacles in adapting all the new children to fixed lines of 
instruction ; in securing attention and order and in enabling the teachers to 
manage the new and constantly increasing enrollments. In spile of the turmoil, 
])erfect system, hard work, watchfulness and systematic eflfort transformed all 
incongruous elements into order, system and advancement. The board of 
directors asked but one qualification of teachers — ability. They secured the best 
teachers, those who had the ability to advance the children in their studies in 
spite of all obstacles. The schools were taken out of politics and all children 
were required to attend at least three months a year tmless excused. Near the 
close of the year 315 departments were maintained and 340 teachers were 
employed. This year the high school graduated 105. 

There were in attendance at private schools in this city 1,394 pupils. The 
total enrollment at this time was 16,837, which included the pupils in private 
schools. There were 30 public school buildings, but in reality 54 different build- 
ings were used. At some sites several different buildings were occupied and 
rented rooms were common almost everywhere. The buildings completed in 
igo2 were the High School, Walla Walla, Longfellow. Warren .\venue. Uni- 
versity Heights. Ross, Intcrbay and a four-room addition to Queen .'\nne 
School. On January i, 1904, the school property was estimated to be worth 
about one and one-half million dollars. The assessment of the school districts 
was $56,674,884. The school debt was $i,325.o(X). The district school tax was 
5'/. mills. 

Ily January. i<x>4. every public school and the high school were overflowing. 
This was shown strikingly by Superintendent F. P>. Cooper's report. At least 
150 more high school students applied for entrance than could be accommodated. 
In Februar)-, when the midyear graduations were made, several hundred addi- 
tional students applied for entrance to the high school but could not be accom- 
modated. However, they were provided for elsewhere at once, rooms were 
rented, additions were ordered and prompt and effective measures were taken 
to meet the demands. At this time the suburbs demanded the expenditure of 
immense sums for school purposes. 

In 1903 the schools were: High, Beacon Hill, 11. V. Day, Cascade, Central, 
Columbia, Denny-Fuhrman, Green Lake, Industrial, Interbay, Interlake, John 
B. -Mien, Lake, Latona, Longfellow. Main Street, Madrona, Mercer, Olympic, 
Pacific, (jueen .\nne. East Queen -Anne, Rainier. Ross, .Salmon Bay, .South, T. T. 
Minor. Summit, University Heights, W^alla Walla, Warren Avenue. Also in 
the suburbs at Brighton, Columbia, Dunlap. Georgetown, Hillman City, Rainier 
Beach, Ravenna. Riverside. .South Park, South -Seattle, V^an Asselt, Yesler and 
\ ork. There were here also Wilson's Business College, Acme Business College, 
Consolidated College Company, DeKoven Hall for Boys, Mrs. Laurence Gron- 
lund's Private School, Hebrew Free School, Mortimer Hall for Boys and Girls, 


Mount Carmel Mission, Ridgway's Riding Academy, School of Domestic Sci- 
ence, School of Musical Art, Seattle Commercial School, Seventh Day Advcn- 
tist School. 

Night schools were held three times a week in the Broadway Building. In 
December, 1907, nearly one thousand pupils attended these schools. Twenty- 
five courses were prepared and instruction was given in trades, domestic 
afl'airs, etc. 

In January, 1908, ten city night schools were conducted in ten different 
school buildings. A course of two terms was prepared for the night schools. 
Each was given thirty-five nights of instruction. The schools were under the 
control of the board of directors. At this time there were enrolled about 
one thousand five hundred pupils in the night schools. All common branches 
were taught and the schools were held three times each week. 

In June, 1908, the school census showed a total of 38,638 children of school 
age within the city limits. On the second day at the school opening in Septem- 
ber, 1908, there were enrolled 24,212 children. Late this year $400,000 worth 
of additional bonds were carried at the election. 

Late in 1910 a special election voted on .$600,000 for new sites, houses, fur- 
nishings and apparatus, $150,000 to take up outstanding warrants that had 
depreciated and $100,000 for additions to grounds and buildings. During the 
entire winter of 1912-13 free night schools were conducted in this city. The 
enrollment was 4,681 in March, 1912. There were 66 public school buildings. 
31,624 day pupils and 954 teachers. There were three free kindergartens and 
many others under private control. School finances were administered through 
School District Number i, which was a separate corporation from the City of 
Seattle but co-extensive with the area of the city. The outstanding bonded 
debt at this time was $4,315,000. The grounds and buildings were valued at 
$5,455,768. All ordinary branches were taught and in addition were manual 
training, domestic science, physical culture, vocational training and other special 
lines of advancement. At this time civic educational centers were formed. On 
the first day of September, 1912, the public schools enrolled 26,596 children. 
The new Franklin High School opened at this time with an attendance of 800. 
(Dther high schools have been erected during the last few years as follows : 
Ballard, Lincoln, West Seattle, making in all at this date six high schools. 

To tell the story of how Seattle built the six magnificent high schools which 
accommodate her future men and women of the city today would lead only 
to repetition and confusion. The same may be said of the grammar schools 
which in recent years have followed each other in rapid succession as the city 
has spread itself out in every direction. 

An estimate of how rapidly the construction work has proceeded may be 
gained by glancing over the list of public schools today. At the beginning of 
1915, the schools were: Broadway High, West Seattle High. Lincoln High, Frank- 
lin High, Queen Anne Lligh, Ballard High, Adams. Alki, John B. Allen, Daniel 
Bagley, Beacon Hill, Brighton, Cascade, Central. F. H. Coe, Colman, Columbia. 
Concord and South Park, B. F. Day, Denny, Dunlap, Emerson, Fairview, Faunt- 
leroy, Gatewood, Georgetown, Green Lake, Greenwood, Harrison, Hawthorne, 
John Hay, Interbay, Interlake, Irving, Jefferson, Lake, Latona, Lawton, Leschi. 
Longfellow, Lowell, IMadrona, Main Street, Maple, Mercer, McDonald, J- J- 


-\lcOilvra, T. T. Minor, X'orlh (Juccii Aiinc, Pacific, rarcntal, Pleasant Valley, 
Pontiac, Rainier, Ravenna, Riverside, Ross, Salmon Bay, Seward, South Seattle, 
Stevens, Summit, University Heights, Van Assclt, Walla Walla, W'arren Avenue, 
Washington, Webster, West Queen Anne, West Seattle, West Woodland, Whil- 
lier. Whitworth, Yesler, York and Youngstown. In all, 739 high school stud- 
'Us were graduated in 1914. 

Perhaps Mrs. Blaine, when she galhercd together her thirteen girls and 
"lie little boy in Bachelors' Hall, dreamed that some day the little settlement 
would become a "City of Schools." Perhaps also she would have been suqirised 
if told that in a little more than halt a century 35,00<j boys and girls would be 
attending eighty schools. 

While the city has been at work planning and building in recent years, it 
has not lost sight of the fact that health and out-door life is an imjwrtant factor 
in the training of a big city's children. So it has laid out a recreation and play 
ground scheme which for attractiveness and the healthy oijoyment which it afifords 
<<|uals that of any other city. In the spring of 1914 Seattle's recreation system 
iibraced 1,805 acres, of which 1,430 acres were devoted to parks, 5 acres to 
street triangles, 227 acres to parkways and 14 acres to play-fields. Thirty-five 
parks were more or less improved and in use, 26 miles of boulevard were 
open to traffic and 24 distinctive playgrounds were in operation exclusive of the 
playgrounds in the parks. Twelve of the playgrounds were equipped with 
outdoor gjmnastic apparatus. During 1913, the maintenance of parks cost 
$181,275, of playgrounds $42,002, of boulevards $16,341. 

With the same idea in view, great stress has been laid on outdoor gardening 
and agricultural training for the children. The school garden movement has 
recently advanced to an important position. It started in the Rainier School 
under the direction of the Parent-Teacher Association and was backed by the 
Leschi Heights Woman's Improvement Club. It spread rapidly to other schools, 
meeting with favor everywhere from parents, teachers and Superintendent 
Cooper. Children are given bulbs and seeds, and instructed how to use them. 
These they plant in window boxes, on the school grounds or in vacant lots near 
by. This accomplishes a threefold purpose, giving the children wholesome exer- 
cise, teaching them the rudiments of horticulture, and beautifying the city. 

By the spring of 1914 school gardens, planted and tended by the pupils, had 
been started in eleven schools of Seattle largely through the influence of the 
Seattle Garden Club and the Woman's Congress. Others were contemplated. 
The live best gardens were at the Rainier, University Heights, Cascade, Inter- 
lake, and Fauntleroy schools. Each child worked out a plot under the guidance 
of the Garden Club. 

In July, 1913, what the Seattle schools had done in developing education 
along practical, industrial and vocational lines was shown in the exhibit at the 
public library. The best examples of work done in the schools in recent years 
were exhibited. 

The authorities predict that the schools of the future will provide for all 
die following activities: Vocational guidance from the sixth grade up; more 
modified courses in the seventh and eighth grades even to the extent of developing 
a junior high school: vocation school of practical work; fewer pupils to the 


teacher ; a parental school for girls ; swimming pools ; compulsory health, as 
well as compulsory attendance. 

A story of Seattle's schools could not be well brought to a close without 
a mention of Frank B. Cooper, the present superintendent, who, in his fourteen 
years of service to the city, has firmly guided its great educational undertakings. 
When Superintendent Cooper went into office in 1901 he brought with him from 
the East improved methods and modern progressive ideas. The manner in 
which he has put these ideas into practice has gained for him- the distinction 
of being one of the foremost educators in the United States. In Seattle, politics 
has rarely found a place in school affairs, as the education of the children is a 
matter of such importance that "let the schools alone!" has always been the cry 
when there has been any suggestion of tampering with the system. The directors 
have always been men of the highest integrity. To the fact that the board is 
an unsalaried one, and members serving on it must of necessity be prompted 
only by a desire to ser\'e the public when they accept the office, is largely due 
the high state of perfection which our school system has attained. 

There are at present (1915) eighty permanent school buildings in the district 
and the physical valuation of the property exceeds six and one-half million 
dollars. The total enrollment in 1914 was 35.527, or more than eight times the 
registration of Januar}' i. i8go. Enrollment in the various years gives some 
idea of the growth of the schools: 1890, 4,456; 1894, 5.314: 1904, 18.077; 
1914, 35,527. The latest total enrollment was 36,022. 

The ofificials of Seattle School District No. i, which includes all the territory 
within the city limits, are as follows : Board of Directors : George A. Spencer, 
Xathan Eckstein, William Pigott, Richard W'insor and E. Shorrock. The bonrd's 
officers are: George A. Spencer, president; Nathan Eckstein, vice president, 
and Reuben W. Jones, secretary. A large and commodious suite of office? is 
maintained on the top floor of the Central Building. 

The Department of Instruction is in charge of Frank B. Cooper, superin- 
tendent, who has as assistants Frank E. Willard, Edward G. Quigley and Almina 

The Health Department is under the supervision of Dr. Ira C. Brown, chief 
medical inspector, and a corps of nurses. 

The Department of Super\-ision is divided into six departments, each in 
charge of a specialist, as follows : Manual and industrial education, Ben W. 
Johnson, director; music. Letha L. IVIcClure, director and Ruth Durheim, super- 
visor; drawing, Emma S. Small, supervisor and Frances Edgerton, assistant; 
elementary work and high school art and design, Qara P. Reynolds, supervisor; 
home economics. Ellen P. Dabney, supervisor; penmanship, Georgia McManis, 

The six high schools of the district are in charge of the following principals: 
Ballard. Linton P. Bennett; Broadway, Thomas R. Cole, Charles Kirkpalrick, 
vice principal ; Franklin, J. A. Reed ; Lincoln, V. K. Froula ; Queen Anne. Otto 
L. Luther; West Seattle, Fred L. Cassidy. 

The grade schools and their principals are as follows : Adams, A. G. Sears : 
Alki, George F. Forster; John B. Allen, Loren R. Shaw; Daniel Bagley, H. N. 
Gridley; Beacon Hill, E. C. Hill; Brighton, Beniah Dimmitt ; Cascade, Charles 
Fagan ; Central, J. M. W'idmer; Franz H. Coe, Elizabeth L. Tharp; Colman, Anna 



B. Kane; Columbia, Aaron Xi-wi-ll : CoiicorcJ. F. C. Jackson; B. !•". Day, Arthur 
S. Gist; Denny, Frank H. I'lunih; 1 )unlap, in charge of Charles C. Gray, of 
Emerson School ; Emerson, Charles C. Gray ; Fairview, A. L. Brown ; Faunt- 
leroy, in charge of O. M. Hanson, of Gatewood School; Gatewood, O. M. Han- 
son; Georgetown, Frank D. Mcllravy; Green Lake, J. M. Kniseley; Greenwood, 
.1. U. Cassel; Harrison, Charles S. Tilton ; Hawthorne, Bella Perry; John Hay, 
John J. Mackintosh; Interbay, L. Maxinc Kelly; Interlake, George R. Austin; 
Irving, Frank Farrar; Jefferson, John P. Herring; Latona, R. W. Moore; Law- 
ton. Dio Richardson; Lcschi, Herman F. Smith; Longfellow, Annie L. Gifford; 
Lowell, Elizabeth Clarahan; F. A. McDonald, in charge of J. M. Kniseley of 
Green Lake School, Emma D. Larrabee, vice principal; J. J. .McGilvra, in 
charge of Annie L. Gifford of Longfellow School, Eva Dansingburg, vice 
principal; Madrona, Henrietta E. -Mills; Main Street, in charge of E. C. Hill, 
of Beacon Hill, Ada J. Mahon, vice principal ; Maple, in charge of F. D. 
Mcllravy of Georgetown. Theodore Meyers, vice principal ; Mercer, H. A. Cas- 
sidy; T. T. IMinor, William A. Blair; North Queen Anne, in charge of E. C. 
Roberts, of Ross ; Pacific, E. H. Stafford ; Rainier, Walter D. Gerard ; Ravenna, 

C. E. Gibson ; Riverside, in charge of Worth McClure, of Youngstown ; Ross, 
E. C. Roberts; Salmon Bay, David Patten; Seward, Charles F. McKechan; 
South Park, in charge of F. C. Jackson, of Concord; South Seattle, Charles 
Potter; Isaac I. Stevens. Clara E. Lowell; Summit, L. B. Moffett ; University 
Heights, Charles Metsker; Yan Asselt, in charge of Charles C. Gray, of Emer- 
son ; Walla Walla, A. N. Thompson ; Warren Avenue, J. C. Dickson ; Washington, 
George A. Stanton ; \N'ebstcr, W. H. Ellert : West Queen Anne, Adelaide L. 
Pollock ; West Seattle, Fred L. Cassidy ; West Woodland, Ray T. Smith ; Whit- 
tier, J. Guy Lowman; Whitworth, Emma C. Hart; Yesler, Edward W. Kelley; 
York, Jessie M. Lockwood ; Youngstown, Worth McClure ; School for the 
Deaf. Washington School, Maria P. Templeton. head teacher. Parental School 
for Boys, Mercer Island. Willis S. Rand, superintendent; Parental School for 
Girls, 3404 East Sixty-eighth Street, Anna L. Chambers, matron. 

Special schools as follows are conducted : Child Study Laboratory and Obser- 
vation Class, Nellie A. Goodhue, principal; Ballard, Twenty- fourth Avenue 
Northwest and Ballard Avenue: Cascade, Pontius Avenue; F. A. McDonald, 
North iMfty-fourth Street and Latona Avenue; Olympic, Twenty-sixth Avenue 
South and Norman Street ; Rainier, Twenty-third Avenue .South ; South Seattle, 
Maynard Avenue; Warren Avenue, Warren Avenue, between Harrison and 
Republican streets; Washington, Eighteenth Avenue South and Main Street; 
Detention Home, Ruby W. Entz ; Florence Crittenden Home. Mary Kdgerton ; 
Orthopedic Hospital. Ella M. Peckham. 



Seattle was only a little more than a year old when the first minister arrived 
and began church work in the new settlement. A few sermons had been 
preached in the town before his arrival, but they were by clergymen who merely 
paused in their journeys to give the settlers the benefit of religious services. 

The first sermon was by Bishop Demers, a Roman Catholic of Vancouver 
Island, who preached in the cook house of Yesler's mill in the latter part of 
1852, Everybody in town, irrespective of creed, attended his service. Early 
in 1853, the Rev. Benjamin F. Close, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, arrived 
in Olympia to represent his church in the Puget Sound region and shortly 
afterward preached a sermon in Seattle. Late in the same year the Rev. David 
E. Blaine arrived and at once began his work as the first minister regularly 
stationed at Seattle. He represented the Methodist Episcopal Church, though 
educated a Presbyterian. His wife, previously Miss Catherine Paine, was the 
first school teacher in Seattle. 

Mr. Blaine reached Alki Point on Saturday, November 20, 1S53, and the 
next day preached at Mr. Russell's log cabin at the Point. C. C. Terry, who 
was present but was not a Methodist, insisted that he knew something of 
Methodist ways ; so at the end of the services he passed his hat around and took 
up a collection of $12, much to the surprise of the new minister. Early on 
Monday the Reverend and Mrs. Blaine took passage in the canoe of Bob Moxley, 
who with a crew of four Indians carried the mail from Olympia, and on their 
arrival in Seattle went immediately to the home of Arthur A. Denny, where 
they remained for three weeks until a suitable house could be prepared for them. 

Speaking -of the kindness of the Dennys, Mrs. Blaine said in 1891, "I tell 
you, Mr. and Mrs. Denny have never been fully appreciated. They were noble 
souls. Everything good in this city dates back to Mr. Denny." 

The first service was held by Mr. Blaine on December 4, 1853, in a house 
belonging to W. G. Tatimer on First Avenue between Cherry and Columbia 
streets. Services were continued in that building until May, 1855, when the 
first little church building, later known as the "White Church," was completed 
on two lots on the corner of Second and Columbia, where the Boston Block 
now stands, donated by C. D. Boren. The first money donated for this build- 
ing was from Capt. Daniel Howard of the brig Leonesa. Mr. Blaine boarded 
every vessel and solicited from every settler who would contribute toward the 
cause. Settlers who had no money contributed saw logs which were hauled 
to Yesler's mill by Hillory Butler. The little church was built by Henry Adams. 

Meanwhile the Blaines did not suffer for what they really needed. The Mis- 
sion Society had paid their expenses to the new field and also had paid half of 
the first year's salary, $350. in advance ; so that Mr. Blaine was a capitalist in 



<* \ 


the new settlement, hi fact he had more ready money than any other man in 
town, at one time loaning $200 to Mr. Ycslcr for his sawmill. When, after the 
church building was finished, there was still due a debt of $175 Mr. Blaine paid 
it, taking the note of the trustees. This note was afterwards lost and no doubt 
forgotten by nearly all the old members. Twenty years afterward David T. 
Denny, recollecting the transaction, sent Mr. Blaine stock in the newly organized 
Seattle & Walla Railroad Company for the full amount. Later Mr. Blaine sold 
this stock for the amount of the original debt, and thus at last the obligation 
was closed. 

During the first year of his pastorate Mr. Blaine earned the reputation of 

being the busiest man in towi>. While he preached regularly and performed 

the other duties of a clergynian, he also helped clear the lots and build the church 

nd the parsonage. He served as deputy county clerk and every evening 

listed Louis Bettman, a local merchant, who was the only pupil in his evening 

liool. In 1856 Mr. Blaine was transferred to the Oregon Conference and 

Aorked there until 1863 when he went East. lie returned to Seattle in 1883. 

The original church was enlarged and a new parsonage erected in 1875 under 

the pastorate of the Rev. Albert Atwood, who served from 1874 to 1877. Mr. At- 

wood is still living and is a resident of Seattle. He is eighty-two years of age 

Mid attends the services of the First Methodist Episcopal Church regularly. 

Ic was succeeded by the Rev. Isaac Dillon, who ser\'ed as pastor from 1877 

i 1879. At an advanced age while attempting to row across the waters of 

uget Sound Mr. Dillon met with an accident and was drowned. 

Rev. W. S. Harrington, D.D., was pastor from 1881 to 1883. He has ren- 

' red signal sen-ice to Methodism in the Northwest and has occupied some 

ry important positions in the church at large. He is still a resident of Seattle. 

Other men who have served as pastors of the church are: Rev. J. N. Den- 
iiison, 1883 to 1886; Dr. Levi Gilbert, editor of the Western Christian Advocate. 
1S90 to 1892; Rev. William Arnold Shanklin, D.D., president of Wesleyan 
I'niversity, 1893 to September, 1S96; Rev. Edwin M. Randall, D.D., present pas- 
tor of the Oilman Park Church, September, 1896, to June, 1903; Rev. Fletcher 
1.. Wharton, D.D., May, 1904, to September, 1906; Rev. W. II. W. Rces, D.D., 
September. 1906, to September, 1910; Rev. Adna Wright Leonard. D.D., Septem- 
ber, 1 910. to the present time. 

The second church building was erected on the southeast corner of 
iiird Avenue and Marion Street, in 1886 and 1887, at a cost of $25,000. 
i<ev. A. J. Hanson was pastor at the time. It was finished and furnished in 
iSS8-i8Sf) during tlic jiastorate of Rev. D. D. Campbell, at an additional cost of 
820,000. This new building was dedicated by Bishop Bowman, September 15, 
1889. It was torn down in 1907. 

The present edifice at I'ifth Avenue and Marion Street, erected under the 
()astorate of Rev. W. H. W. Rees, is valued at $300,000, including the lot and 
the organ, the latter one of the largest and finest on the Coast. When the pres- 
ent pastor, the Rev. .\dna Wright Leonard, was appointed in .September, 1910, 
the membership was T.240. Today it is more than 2,400. The church is the 
third largest numerically in Methodism and is one of the most highly organized 
churches of the Northwest. The organization includes .Sunday School, Epworth 
League. Woman's J'oreigii Missionary Society, Woman's Home Missionary 


Society, two Young Women's Missionary societies, two Children's Missionary 
societies, Probationers' classes, Brotherhood, Ladies' Aid Society, Church Choral 
Society and various other lines of activity. 

The story of Seattle's first church, from its modest beginning as a small 
village meeting house to the great modern organization of national influence, is 
but one instance of the remarkable growth which Seattle's many churches have 

Seattle's second church, built in 1865 for the Methodist Protestants, was 
known as "The Brown Church" because it was painted brown. As the first 
church was painted white it was then called "The White Church" to distinguish 
it from the other. The Society of the Brown Church was organized by the 
Rev. Daniel Bagley, known to Seattle people as the "Father of the University 
of Washington," who became one of the great figures among the pioneer ministers 
of the Northwest. 

The members included in the organization were Mrs. Susannah Bagley, Judge 
Thomas Mercer and wife, Hester Loretta, and his daughter, Alice, who later 
in the year became the wife of Clarence B. Bagley; Mr. Edward Steelman and 
wife; Mr. Dillis B. Ward and wife; Miss Lenora Denny. Of these, only 
Mr. Ward and wife, and Mrs. C. B. Bagley survive. 

The original church and parsonage combined cost about three thousand dol-. 
lars, and was then considered quite a creditable addition to the city's public 

When Mr. Bagley and his family arrived in Seattle in October, i860, they 
came from Salem, Ore., in the hope of benefiting Mrs. Bagley 's health, which 
had begun to fail under the stress of pioneer life. At first. Mr. Bagley occupied 
the vacant pulpit in the Methodist Episcopal Church until the arrival of a regular 
pastor. To the construction of The Brown Church, five years after his arrival, 
he devoted his entire labor and a large portion of his private means. Half of 
the lumber for the church was donated by Captain Renton, of Port Blakeley. 
Mr. Bagley remained pastor of the church he built in Seattle until 1885, more 
than twenty years. The remainder of his busy and useful life was passed in 
Seattle, his residence being on Queen Anne Hill. 

In the summer of 1872 The Brown Chtirch was extensively altered and 
improved. It was given a Mansard roof with the addition of an upper story 
to be used as a Good Templars' Hall. Entrance to the upper story was gained 
by a winding staircase under the belfry. 

It was from the organization of The Brown Chtirch that the first definite 
movement to obtain good music for Seattle originated. About the middle of 
December, 1873, a Philharmonic and Choral Society was organized at the church 
by Seattle's singers and mtisicians. The object of the society was to consolidate 
the musical talent of Seattle into a single organization founded on a basis similar 
to the choral societies of the East. The Methodist Protestant Sunday School 
was organized in 1875 and by 1880 it had become the largest in the territory 
with 171 officers, teachers and pupils. 

The Brown Church was removed from the corner of Second Avenue and 
Madison Street in the spring of 1S82. and preparations were made for the erec- 
tion of a more commodious stracture. Arrangements were also made to begin 
the construction of a parsonage on the rear end of the lot. In June the comer 









stone of the new building was laid by Mr. Bagley. In it was deposited by 
Judge Thomas Mercer a box containing a Bible and other mementoes of the 
occasion. Mr. Mercer was then the oldest Methodist Protestant on the Pacific 
Coast. This new church and a separate parsonage were complclcd in 1883 at a 
cost of about fifteen thousand dollars, all paid at the time of dedication in August 
of that year. 

At this time The Brown Church represented the only organization of the 
Methodist Protestant Church west of the Rocky Mountains. During the sixteen 
years after its organization, Mr. Bagley had been its pastor except for a few 
months when he resided in Olympia. The society, numbering about seventy- 
five members, had prospered under his leadership until it owned property esti- 
mated at twenty-five thousand dollars. 

The great fire of June 6, 1889, swept away church and parsonage. Uexter 
llurton, whose generosity had made possible the erection of these buildings, at 
once made the necessary arrangements and a large tent was soon put up on 
his lots where the New York block now stands, and services were held there. 
Then a larger tent was erected on the church site which is now occupied by 
I'rederick & Nelson's store. This lot was sold, several months later, and in 
1S90 one bought at the southeast corner of Pine Street and Third Avenue 
where a church with a seating capacity of 1,000 or more was erected, together 
with a comfortable parsonage, all at a cost of about forty-four thousand dollars. 

At the time of the rcgrading in that vicinity, it was found imi)ossible to 
longer use the building for church purposes so, in 1906, the lot was sold for 
$100,000, and the proceeds devoted to the purchase of two lots at the corner 
of John Street and Sixteenth Avenue North and the erection of a structure, that, 
while not of great seating capacity, is one of the most beautiful churches in the 

The names of the ministers who have served as pastors of these churches 
are as follows : 

Daniel Bagley, S. A. Baker, H. M. Sexton, J. H. Skidmore, Clark D. Davis, 
W. M. Kellogg, Reverend Whitman, Thomas P. Revelle, A. N. Ward, and J. 
M. Gill, the present pastor. 

The First Presbyterian Church, like the Methodist Protestant ;ui(! the First 
Methodist Episcopal, is closely interwoven with Seattle's early history-. In 1866 
the Rev. George F. Whitworth, the first pastor of the church, and one of the 
ablest divines of the Pacific Northwest, came from Olympia to Seattle, as pres- 
ident of the Territorial University, then the most notable institution of this little 
village of about four hundred inhabitants. He began holding services in The 
Brown Church of the Methodist Protestants, preaching on alternate Sundays 
with the pastor, the Rev. Daniel Bagley. This union continued until 1877, and 
during all the intervening period union Sunday School and pravcr meetings were 

In the winter of 1869-70, the few Presbyterians here decided to form a 
church organization and accordingly assembled December 12th at the residence 
of Mr. Whitworth, and constituted themselves the First Presbyterian Giurch of 
Seattle. The charter members were: Samuel Kenny, Mrs. Jessie Kenny, Mrs. 
Mary E. Whitworth, Miss Clara Whitworth, Mrs. Lida Whitworth, Mrs. Re- 
becca Jones and Mrs. Ruth J. McCarty. The organization was weak at the 


start, but grew steadily in membership and influence. The Rev. Theodore Crowl 
became pastor in 1S75. The Rev. H. P. Denning took charge of the congrega- 
tion August 14, 1S75. Other pastors were D. W. Macfie, H. W. Stratton, George 
R. Bird, F. G. Strange, Elliott W. Brown and Alexander Allison, D. D. In the 
spring of 1876 the first church building was commenced. It was not dedicated 
until July i, 1879, over two years after it had been finished and occupied. The 
dedication services were conducted by Rev. H. W. Stratton, and the dedication 
sermon was preached by the Rev. John Hemphill, then pastor of Calvary Qiurch, 
San Francisco. In 1893, it was deemed necessary to erect a new church build- 
ing. One-half of the cost of construction was subscribed before the work was 
commenced ; in fact it was subscribed within less than a week. The completed 
building was an imposing edifice for that period, with a full seating capacity 
of 1,500. It stood at Fourth Avenue and Spring Street. The dedication ser- 
mon was preached by the pastor, the Rev. /Mcxander Allison, in January, 1894. 

Later, in IQ07, the present building of the First Presbyterian Church at 
Seventh Avenue and Spring Street, which had been erected at a cost of $300,000 
was dedicated. With this church and St. James' Catholic Cathedral Seattle 
boasted of having two of the finest churches in the country. Under the leader- 
ship of the Rev. Mark A. Matthews, D.D., who has been pastor of the First 
Presbyterian Church of Seattle since 1902, the church has attained the distinction 
of having probably the largest congregation in the world. 

Father Rossi, of the Roman Catholic Church, was in Seattle for several 
years before 1867 and bought four lots at Fourth Avenue and Washington 
Street. These four lots were bought for $200 and the Church of Our Lady 
of Good Help, the first Catholic church in the city, was erected there in 1868 
by the Very Rev. F. X. Prefontaine. It stood on the half block on Third 
Avenue between Yesler Way and Washington Street. Father Prefontaine 
arrived here in 1867. He first rented a small house which stood on Third 
Avenue opposite the block where the Ycsler IMansion was afterwards built. 
This house contained two rooms, the largest being converted into a chapel. 
The other room was the residence of Father Prefontaine, parlor, dining room, 
kitchen and sleeping-room, all in one. To raise the money for his church he 
held fairs in Seattle, Olympia, Port Gamble, Port Ludlow, and Utsalady at 
the north end of Camano Island. About this time there were only twelve or 
fifteen Catholics in Seattle. The four fairs held by Father Prefontaine for the 
church at Seattle cleared $2,000. After the church building was ready the 
membership increased rapidly. In 1882 the church was practically rebuilt and 
only the belfry and spire of the old building were saved for the new structure. 

"I have vivid recollection," wrote Father Prefontaine about 1902, "of the 
time we had clearing the land for the new church. Every foot of it was 
covered with monster trees and dense underbrush. One giant of the forest 
that we cut down, I remember, measured eight feet in diameter at the butt and 
had roots which extended from one side of the block to the other and which on 
the south drank in the waters of a little creek that ran down the ravine, on the 
north side of which the church was to stand. We were three months in getting 
rid of the stumps and underbrush that remained after the trees were felled. 
In clearing the ground we dug up three relics of the Indian War of 1856, one 
was a monstrous iron key which belonged to the quartermaster of the sloop 






of war, Decatur, and iwo government bayonets. In 1869, the old church which 
covered a ground space of 60 by 36 feet and seated about one hundred persons, 
was completed at a cost of about three thousand dollars. It was a pretentious 
building for those times, with Gothic windows, and was nicely finished in stucco 
on the interior." 

The cornerstone of a new Catholic Church on the corner of Fourth and 
Washington, near the site of the present Prefontainc Building, was laid on 
Sunday evening. May 7, 1882, Father Prefontaine conducting the ceremonies. 
He was assisted by Fathers Custer and Boulet. .^t this time the Catholic 
Church had a membership of about six hundred. The new church was 35 by 120 
feet inside measurements, with a transept 27 by 49 feet and sanctuary and sacris- 
ties 25 by 35 feet. There were three galleries and the entire building had a seating 
capacity of 700. The height of the building from the ground to the top of 
the steeple was 112 feet. The structure had entrances from both Fourth Avenue 
and W'ashington Street, although it faced the latter. The basement was divided 
into rooms for prayer meetings, studies, etc. The architecture was of the 
Gothic order. It was dedicated in May,. 1883, Bishop Blondel officiating. 

In 1902 the Right Rev. Edward J. O'Dea, Bishop of the Diocese of Nisqually, 
announced his intentions of removing to Seattle from Vancouver and of making 
this city the headquarters of the See of Nisqually. At this time there were 
more than one hundred religious organizations of all kinds here with a total 
membership of 30,000. Bishop O'Dca held his services in Seattle for the first 
time in February, 1904. 

The Young Men's Institution of the Catholic Church was established in Seattle 
the latter part of 1904. The cornerstone of the new St. James' Cathedral at 
Ninth Avenue and Columbia Street, was laid by Bishop O'Dea soon afterwards. 
He was assisted by Bishop Carroll of Helena. Montana, and many distinguished 
clergj'men of the Catholic Church. The erection of the cathedral completed 
the change of the See to this city, which became the See of Seattle. A solid 
silver trowel was used by the bishop in laying the cornerstone. 

In July, 1908, Pope Pius X conferred on Francis Xavier Prefontaine the 
honor degree of Prothonotary Apostolic as a reward for his distinguished serv- 
ices in Seattle since 1869. He was invested with robes and the title of Mon- 
seigneur, Member of the Papal Household, by Bishop Edward T- O'Dea. During 
his lifetime he was one of Seattle's best citizens. 

In the fall of 1908 the Seattle Carmelite Community was established. Four 
iniMs came from the Baltimore Nunnery and established a cloister. They were 
the first of the Camiel Order to locate in the Pacific Northwest. .\ building 
was donated to their services by Malcolm MacDougal. whose daughter was 
one of the nuns. By June, 1909, there were five sisters of that order here in 
charge of the community. 

The new Providence Hospital at Seventeenth Avenue and East Jefferson 
Street, one of the most imposing buildings in the city, was completed in April, 

In October, 1865, the Protestant Episcopal Church (Trinity) was established 
in Seattle by the Rev. Peter E. Hylane. He first visited the town while he was 
yet pastor of St. John's Quirch at Olympia. Among the first members w-ere 
Charles C. Tcrr\-, Hiram Burnett, II. L. Yesler, M. R. Maddocks and Franklin 


Matthias. They occupied the White Church before their own building was 
erected. IMr. Burnett was the first member to be confirmed. Mr. Hylane left 
here in 1871, but returned to the Sound in 1889, became pastor at Whatcom 
and later returned to Seattle. 

The first Episcopal Church building, which was of Gothic architecture, was 
completed late in 1870 under the superintendence of Hiram Burnett. It was 
dedicated June 11, 1871, by Bishop B. Wistar Morris, of Portland, assisted by 
the Reverends Hylane and Summers, and was given the name of Trinity Church. 
It stood at the comer of Third Avenue and Jefferson Street. 

In May, 1879, the Sunday school of the Episcopal Church was established by 
Mr. Webb and met in the public schoolhouse at Belltown. Hiram Burnett conducted 
the school until 1880, when a lot was purchased and a building erected for 
Sunday school purposes. This structure was also used for occasional services 
of the church. It became known as the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, and was 
formally opened by the rector of Trinity Parish on December 12, 1880. After 
May, 1881, the Rev. John C. P'air was minister in charge of this chapel and held 
there regular weekly services. Trinity Church was much improved in the fall 
of 1879. The front was turned to Third Avenue and the rear towards the 
Sound, permitting the material lengthening of the building and the construction 
of a tower to hold the 1,200 pound bell that arrived in September. 

The first pipe organ in Washington Territory was installed in Trinity Church 
in July, 1882, under the direction of John Bergstom, a well known organist of 
San Erancisco. A grand organ opening was held at the church, directed by 
Samuel J. Gilbert, previously of Grace Church, Xew York. Trinity Church was 
destroyed by fire in Jamiary, 1902, but a year later a new and more pretentious 
edifice was ready for occupancy. 

It was in 1869 that a meeting was held in the district school room in Seattle 
to organize a church to be known as the Plymouth Congregational Society of 
Seattle. S. P. Andrews was chairman of this meeting and W. S. Baxter, secre- 
tary. The meeting formally tendered a call to the Rev. John F. Damon to 
become pastor, and the call was soon accepted. The trustees of the new church 
were Corliss P. Stone, S. P. Andrews. J. H. Sanderson, Samuel G. Calhoun 
and A. N. Merrick. 

About the middle of Xovember the Congregationalists of Seattle began to 
meet regularly in Yesler's Pavilion, which thereafter they occupied for morning 
and evening services every Sabbath. A Sunday school was organized about this 
time and its sessions were held immediately after the morning service. The 
congregation grew rapidly, and on Sunday, December 19, 1869, Plymouth Con- 
gregational Church of Seattle was formally organized by the Rev. G. H. Atkin- 
son, D. D., of Portland. By January, 1870, the organization had been perfected 
and on January i6th, the first communion service was celebrated in the Pavilion. 

In November, 1871, the members of the church temporarily secured the joint 
use of the Methodist Episcopal Church and held services there for some time 
instead of in the Pavilion as before. Mr. Damon preached there on alternate 
Sundays. The Sabbath School of the Plymouth Society was held at the White 
Church every Sabbath afternoon. In December the Reverend Damon resigned 
his position as pastor and turned his attention to missionary work on the Sound, 
although he still retained his residence in Seattle. In 1891 a beautiful church 



edifice was built at Third and University, the northeast corner, and when this was 
crowded out by the business district and was outgrown by the congregation, a 
modern structure ])roviding for various institutional activities was erected, 1912, 
at Sixth Avenue and University Street. The Rev. \V. II. G. Temple, D. U., was 
jiastor of the church for about ten years, and he was succeeded by the Rev. 
IVancis J. \"an Horn, D. D., under whose leadership the new church was built. 

The preliminary meeting for a Baptist Society was held at the residence of 
i'.dward II. Ilanford about the middle of December, 1869. Socials and prayer 
meetings were held at Mr. Hanford's residence by members of the organization. 
.\s a result of these meetings the First Baptist Church of Seattle was organized 
on December 28th of that year, on the basis of the New Hampshire articles of 
faith. A covenant was subscribed to by eleven persons, and it was announced 
that twenty more would shortly be admitted. The following officers were elected : 
William Rogers, deacon; S. V. Andrews, clerk; 1.. S, Kogers, K. II. Ilanford. 
L. J. Holgate, S. P. Andrews and T. Hanford, trustees. The society had previ- 
ously secured a church lot and the trustees were preparing speedily to erect a 
church building and to procure an efificient pastor. The first Baptist Church, 
which originally stood on Fourth Avenue adjoining Mr. Hanford's residence, 
was completed in 1872. It was repaired and lowered in 1875, and again in 
1S83 it was thoroughly renovated and refurnished. Its first pastors were the 
Reverends Weston, Freeman. Wirth and Pierce. Late in i8<jo, the P.aptists 
located a University of Seattle at Kirkland. with the Rev. (I. C. Burchett as 

The I'irst I'.aiUisl Church of tlie jjresent time, which was built in nju. at 
I larvard rnid Seneca, and which is now under the leadershi]) of the l\c\ . Carter 
llelni [ones, D. D,, is interesting from an architectural ])oint of \iew as it is 
the only one of the more recently erected large churches in .Seattle that has the 
tall pointed spire. 

After Judge Roger S. Greene transferred his residence from Olympia to 
Seattle he appointed Rev. J. P. Ludlow, a Baptist minister, his clerk for the 
thin! judicial district, and for many years the two were very zealous in religious 
work in this city. 

Mr. Ludlow was t|uite eccentric and became imbued with the desire to build 
and operate a "gos])el shi])," one that would steam up and down the waters of 
the Northwest, including Washington. I'.ritish Cohnnl)ia and .\laska. He esti- 
ni.-ited that with such a craft it would be possible to carry the gospel to more 
than forty thousand souls, whites, Indians and Chinese, .\bout tS8i a legacy 
of several thousand dollars was left him and he used it in Iniilding the Evangel, a 
-leanier that in following years sustained more mishajjs than any other ever 
launched on Puget Sound, .\fter the boat was nearly ready to run his funds 
gave out, so he had a large number of pamphlets printed and sent them out 
broadcast, stating the purpose for which the boat was to be used. Subscriptions 
|ir)ured in from church and missionary societies all over the world sui)])lying him 
with abundant means to finish and e(|uip the boat. By this time his missionary 
zeal had abated, and in> of carrying the gos])el from port to port the craft 
went into secular business. Her subsequent career was spectacular but not 
profitable. It is due Mr. Ludlow to add that he most scrujjulously returned all 
contributions to the organizations that had sent them to him. 


In June, 1871, at the instance of Dana C. Pearson, of San Francisco, and in 
the interest of the Sabbatli school, the clergy and Sunday school teachers of the 
Congregationalist and two Methodist churches of Seattle were called together 
at the residence of the Rev. John F. Damon and a Sabbath School Institute 
was formed, the first ever organized in the territory. The Rev. Daniel Bagley 
was elected chairman of the institute and J. H. Sanderson, secretary. Pre- 
liminary meetings were held at the White Church and were largely attended by 
teachers, scholars and parents. 

The Unitarian Society was organized in Seattle in December, 1885, by the 
Rev. George H. Greer, with an original membership of twenty. 

An organization of Spiritualists called the Progressive Aid Society was effected 
in 1872. From the first days of settlement a few Spiritualists had lived in 
Seattle, occasionally securing the services of a lecturer. By 1872 they had 
become quite numerous and made preparations to raise funds for a hall. The 
next year they began to hold regular services in Lyceum Hall, under the direction 
of Airs. A. D. W'iggin. The First Spiritualist Society of Seattle was formally 
organized in November, 1887, by D. S. Smith, Hannah Smith, Henry Giftord, 
Lena Gifi'ord, George Spray, Eliza Spray, B. F. Bogardus, Fred O. Houbert, 
W. R. Andrews, Grace Gififord and Mrs. Sophronia Taylor. 

The cornerstone of a German church at Seventh Avenue and Cherry Street 
was laid January i, 1882, by the Revs. J. .\. Wirth and G. Mechanheimer. In 
the spring of the same year the Scandinavian Baptist Church was constructed 
near the North School House, and was dedicated by the Rev. O. Okerson, who 
had come to Seattle as a missionary, and through whose energy the church had 
been built. The people of Seattle generously contributed towards the erection 
of the building. The same year also the Free Alethodists built a church on Pine 
Street near Ninth Avenue at a cost of $1,300. The congregation had started in 
1881 as a mission. 

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, was organized in Seattle in August, 
1896, with seventeen charter members. Edward E. Kimball, a close friend of 
Mrs. Alary Baker G. Eddy, lectured here on the doctrines of the organization. 
There was a large attendance to hear what this noted speaker had to say on the 
subject, and the result was the organization of a church of that denomination. 

The membership grew rapidly and it was found necessary to establish 
another church. This was done June 26, 1909. For a time it met in Arcade 
Hall, but it was soon necessary to move into larger quarters, and in Alarch, 
1913, the Hippodrome was obtained. It is called the Fourth Church. 

The First Church has a beautiful structure at Sixteenth Avenue and East 
Denny Way, and it and the Fourth Church have a very large attendance. 

The Second Church was formerly the First Church of Ballard. It was 
organized in Alarch, 1902, with fourteen charter members. 

There are three other regular organizations — one in the university district, 
one at Columbia City and the other in West Seattle; also informal societies at 
South Park, Bellevue and at Medina. 

In telHng the story of Seattle's religious life, only to outline the history of 
the pioneer churches of the various denominations has been attempted. The 
city's people always have been church-goers. Some of the largest congregations 
in the world are to be found in Seattle ; and in a score of years they have 


extended tlicir work until ever)' section of the city where there is a growing 
community lias its church or chapel or mission. Wherever, in its history, the 
growing city has extended its boundaries to include new homes and new families 
one of the first demands has been for a church to fulfill the religious needs 
of the added community. 

From the time of the first extensive gold discoveries in Alaska the churches 
experienced an extraordinary growth. Not only did the congregations grow in 
number but they greatly extended their fields of operation. Great revivals, 
concerts, charitable movements, followed each other in close succession. Lecturers 
from abroad, men and women of prominence and eloquence, were secured to 
interpret religious subjects, in which the people were vitally interested. Missions 
were created to extend the church work among the poor and unfortunate and 
reading rooms and halls were opened ihroughout the city, particularly in the 
Japanese and Chinese quarters, where the leading denominations established 
branch congregations. 

The enormous growth of the churches in the ten years from 1S97 to 1907, was 
the forerunner of a memorable period of moral, social and religious advance- 
ment. With more than twenty new church buildings, with the magnificent 
Catholic Cathedral and the First Presbyterian Qiurch completed, and with the 
Young Men's Christian Association and the Young Women's Christian 
Association buildings contemplated, Seattle started out on a great movement 
which sought to combine the activities of religious worship with the practical 
work of moral and social improvement. The places of worship became w-ork 
rooms of social centers which proposed to solve the perplexities and problems 
of everyday life. The great church structures were provided with gymnasiums, 
recreation, reading and smoking rooms, kindergartens, playgrounds. Clubs and 
societies were introduced to aid in carrj'ing out the work of social betterment. 
During 1907 there were built in Seattle more churches than ever before in one 
year. Twenty buildings were erected at a total cost of $1,500,000. The First 
Presbyterian Church, under the leadership of Dr. M. A. Matthews, was but one 
ixam])le of the i)rogress that was made. In 1907 there was an increase of 747 
in the membership of this church alone. 

The progress of the churches in very recent years has been aided by a series 
of forward movements carried on by the larger congregations. One of the most 
extensive of them was a movement, in Februarj', 1914, by the Queen Anne Hill 
churches, of the Christian, Congregational, Methodist and United Presbyterian 
denominations, under the leadership of the Rev. Sydney Strong, D. D., the Rev. 
W. AL JefFers, the Rev. W. E. Adams and the Rev. John Downie. This was 
continued for several weeks and was immediately succeeded by the union revivals 
of the four great down-town churches, the First Presbyterian, the First Metho- 
dist Episcopal, the First Baptist and the Plymouth Congregational. The ministers 
who led in this revival were the Rev. M. A. Matthews, D. D., the Rev. Adna 
^\^ Leonard, D. D., the Rev. Carter Helm Jones, D. D., and the Rev. Francis J. 
\'an Horn, D. D. The ''go to church" idea gained headway and February 8th 
was set apart each year as "Go-to-church Day." 

In a little more than half a century Seattle has established more than one 
hundred and ninety churches, representing twenty denominations. In 1915 they 
are as follows : Four .\dventist. 24 Baptist, 10 Christian, 6 Christian Science, 


23 Congregational, 14 Episcopal, 2 Evangelical Association, 4 Free Methodist, 
I Friends, i Greek-Russian, 3 Hebrew, 21 Lutheran, 31 Methodist Episcopal, i 
Methodist Episcopal South, 2 Methodist Protestant, 2 Nazarene, 22 Presbyterian, 
I Reformed Presbyterian, 3 United Presbyterian, 18 Catholic, 3 Salvation Army 
(corps), 3 Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant, 2 Unitarian, i Volunteers of 

The list of miscellaneous churches and religious societies includes, in addition, 
the Apostolic Faith Mission, Church of Christ, Bethel Mission, Christian and 
Missionary Alliance, Church of God Chapel, Church of Jesus Christ Latter 
Day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (reorganized). Church 
of the Brethren, Church of the Living God, Divine Science, Gospel Hall, Gospel 
Tabernacle, Hazel Mission, Japanese Buddhist Church, Non-Sectarian, Peniel 
Mission, Pentecostal Mission, Olive Branch Mission, the United Brethren in 
Christ, Bahai Assembly, Central Christian Assembly, Christian Yoga, Spiritual 
Psychic Society, Humanitarian Spiritual Society, Japanese Christian Society, 
Science of Truth Society, Seamen's Church Institute of America, Theosophical 
Society, United Order of Practical Christianity, the Young Men's Christian 
Association, the Young Women's Christian Association, Rosicrucian Fellowship. 



v-ti' iVnc; 



^ M' Ll 




Newspapers the world over are like so many people. They live hard and die 
easily. They praise iheir friends and denounce their enemies. They are ever 
at each others' throats. Yet all of them love the little human affairs of every 
day which make their lives worth the \\\m<^. .\nd somehow, when they emerge 
from the li^ht, often well hattered, they always scent to discover that they are a 
little nearer the truth. 

So it has been with the newspapers of Seattle. "Survival of the fittest" 
has been tiie rule. Many have come and gone, have fought bravely, and died 
gamely; but out of the wrecks and the successes Seattle today has newspapers 
which truly represent the city and stand ready to aid in its progress. 

It will he difficult for the young men in the newsi)aper offices of today, 
with their separate departments and special work, to realize the many duties 
devolving upon the pioneer newspaper men of Seattle. The successful one 
was a capable printer who could "set type," run a press, make up the forms, 
make a roller and wash it if need be. He was editorial writer, local reporter, 
business manager and mailing clerk. .\ "job office" was usually part of the 
printing establishment and he had to be his own job jirinter and pressman as well. 
During all the earlier years there were no telegraphic dispatches, the "news" 
being selected from the weekly issues of the Tribune or Herald of New York 
City. These came by mail steamer to the Isthnuts of Panama, thence across, 
and by steamer to San Francisco, thence with the utmost irregularity by steamer 
to Portland, from there down the Columbia and up the Cowlitz River and by 
])ack animal or mud wagon to Olympia. 

Under all these adverse circumstances remarkably good newspapers were 
issued. They were usually on paper 24 by 36 inches in size, about the limit 
for the hand presses then in use. The editorial matter was vigorous and able, 
the typography and press work equal to that of the present day, the selection 
of news and literary matter unexceptionable. It is not surprising that men 
capable of such good work in the face of many difficulties should have wielded 
a powerful influence in the pioneer work of the territory. 

The first newspaper that carried a Seattle date line was published in Olympia, 
.\ugust 15, 1863, by James R. Watson. Olympia was a vastly more imjiorlant 
town in those days than Seattle, but Watson must have had a preiuonition that 
this city would some day be great enough to repay the journalistic attention he 
so carefully devoted to it. He brought sample copies of the first issue to 
Seattle and received such good encouragement that he concluded to establish 
a plant here. 

The first copy of The Seattle Gazette, distinctively a Seattle newspaper, 
made its appearance December 10, 1S63, with Watson as editor and proprietor, 



M. D. Canavan as his associate and an Indian for a roller boy. The Gazette 
was issued from an office in the second story of a wooden building owned by 
Henry L. Yesler near the present southwest corner of Yesler Way and First 
Avenue South. Yesler furnished the room free of cost and aided the venture in 
other ways. The paper consisted of four pages of four columns, the printed 
matter on each page measuring 9^ by 14^4 inches. 

Equipped with such a durable outfit. Editor Watson published the Gazette 
spasmodically, bestirring himself only when there was news of sufficient impor- 
tance to provoke an issue. But when the first telegraphic dispatch to Seattle, 
on October 26, 1864, brought Civil war news, the primitive newspaper office 
on the outpost of civilization was electrified to activity. The dispatch arrived 
from Portland at 4 o'clock. Portland had received it from Kansas City and 
Kansas City from New York. It gave the news from Chattanooga of the opera- 
tions of Sherman against Hood in the Atlanta compaign. The Gazette did not 
lose any time in issuing its "Citizen's Dispatch," giving the first published 
dispatch coming by wire. At i o'clock the day before the cannon had been fired 
to celebrate the completion of the Western Union Telegraph line to Seattle. 

Watson feverishly began at once to figure out a way to print the dispatches 
as fast as they were received. They came collect, and before he could procure 
them Seattle's editor had to devote some time and energy to the financial aspect 
of his calling. The usual mode of procedure was this : The telegraph operator 
would hunt up Watson, a task somewdiat simplified by the sparseness of the 
population, and inform him that there was a war dispatch at the office. Watson 
would then call on several opulent and liberal citizens of the town, tell them 
of the dispatch and collect twenty-five cents from each of them to pay the tolls. 
The message would be given to him and set in type, the type would be locked 
up on a "galley'' and an "extra" for each subscriber run oft'. Later the dispatches 
would appear in the Gazette. 

This paper, although lasting only a few years, is interesting historically on 
account of the press on which it was printed, and for the fact that it published 
the first telegraphic news received in Seattle. The printing press used by this 
paper was first sent from New York to Mexico, thence to IMonterey, California, 
in 1834, where it was used by the Spanish go\ernor for a number of years 
in printing proclamations, etc., and on August 15, 1846, the Californian. the 
pioneer paper of California, was printed on it. Late in 1846 it was sent from 
Monterey to San Francisco and used in printing the Star, the first paper of that 
city, issued in January, 1847. These two papers were combined at a later date, 
and in the fall of 1848 the first number of the Alta California was issued from it. 
From San Francisco it went on to Portland and the first number of the Ore- 
gonian was taken oft' it. In 1852 it and the old plant of the Oregonian were 
bought by Thornton F. McElroy and J. W. Wiley, who brought it around on the 
schooner Mary Taylor to Olympia, where the first number of the Columbian 
was printed on it. In 1863 J. R. W^atson brought it to Seattle and used it for 
printing the Gazette as above stated. Its historj^ did not end here for it served 
the Intelligencer at a later date. The type and other material were destroyed 
many years ago but this old Ramage press is today a relic highly prized at the 
State University Aluseum where it may be seen. 

From Tune 4, 1864, to August 6th, the paper suspended, but resumed again 


in improNcd form. -Mr. Watson was interested in politics and the paper came 
out with some irregularity for about a year more, when he severed his connection 
with the paper and the Seattle Publishing Company took control. Mr. Robert 
G. Head, a newspaper man from Olympia, took Mr. Watson's place and con- 
tinued the paper until February i6, 1865, when I. M. Hall took up the work 
until March 3, 1866, when the paper quit. 

A month later, on April 5, 1866, Mr. Hall, in partnership with a Mr. 
McNamara, began a new venture under the name of the Pugct Sound Semi- 
Weekly. Seattle, however, could not support a semi-weekly, and on April 30th, 
the paper came out as the Puget Sound Weekly. In .Vugust, 1866, it was sold 
to Mr. George Reynolds, who stuck with it until March 18, 1867, when Mr. 
Hall took it back again and renamed it the Puget Sound Weekly Gazette. 

On May 27, 1867, the firm became Hall & White, but on June 17, 1867, 
Seattle again lost its newspaper for Hall had been elected county auditor and the 
prospect of steady remuneration was so alluring that he allowed the publication 
to die. 

Meanwhile, on April 23, 1866, the Puget Sound Daily appeared and continued 
an uneventful existence until August nth, of the same year. It was the first 
daily paper on Pugct Sound, and in W'ashington Territory. 

In the papers which succeeded Watson's Gazette, telegraph dispatches appeared 
occasionally, but not until about July i. 1872, when the Puget Sound Dispatch 
was established by Larabee & Company, with Bcriah Brown as editor, was any 
regular publication of the press dispatches undertaken in Seattle. 

In .August, 1867, Samuel L. Maxwell, a San Francisco printer, came to 
Seattle with the object of starting a paper somewhere on the Sound. It 
happened that the old Ramage press and materials upon which the Seattle 
Gazette et al. papers had been printed had fallen into the hands of Messrs. 
Daniel and Clarence B. Bagley, and Mr. Maxwell made arrangements to take 
over the outfit for $300 and pay for it out of the earnings of his proposed 
paper. On August 5, 1876, the first number of his paper, the Weekly Intelli- 
gencer, appeared. Mr. Maxwell was a man of considerable ability, and this, 
together with the fact that Seattle was beginning to develop, caused his paper 
to succeed from the start. He paid all his debts and improved his paper so 
that by 1874 he was able to sell the plant for $3,000, at that time quite a sum 
of money. The new proprietor was Mr. David Iliggins. The town began to 
grow, and in June, 1876, a daily was issued which became yery popular as well 
as financially ])rolital)lc. In 1878 Mr. Iliggins got the fever to go to Eastern 
Washington whicMi he thought had a future even greater than the Sound 
country, so he sold out to Mr. Thaddeus Ilanford, who had edited the paper 
for several years, for $8,000. 

Before Mr. Higgins had sold his interest in the paper he had taken into his 
employ a young man, Samuel Crawford, a pressman, of Olympia. Mr. Crawford 
was a good pressman but a better reporter, and soon became city editor. Mr. 
Crawford induced Mr. Thomas Prosch to take an interest in the paper, which 
he did, but the two proprietors never agreed, and Mr. Han ford decided to sell 
his interest for $5,000, which Mr. Crawford purchased, going into debt for the 
money. Messrs. Prosch and Crawford had a difficult time keeping the paper 
going and at the same time carrying the heavy mortgages, which load was made 


harder by the fact that the paper had a heavy lien for paper, etc., recorded against 
it, which neither knew of at the time of purchase. The Intelhgencer continued 
in the hands of the above proprietors until its merger with the Post. 

Meanwhile, this daily i)aper was not the only occupant of the field. We must 
leave the Intelligencer and go back to the spring of 1868, when an Irish tailor, 
named I. G. Murphy, began the publication of the Alaska Times at Sitka, Alaska. 
In ]\Iay, 1 87 1, soon after the American boom subsided, he brought his small 
jjrinting plant to Seattle and began the publication of the Seattle Times and 
Alaska Herald. The publication of the Times continued only a few months. 
Murphy soon sold it to McNamara & Larabee, who in turn sold it to Wilson & 
Hall, who started also the Territorial Dispatch. 

In October, 1871, Beriah Brown and C. H. Larabee bought the plant, con- 
tinued the paper for three months and on December 4. 1871, issued the first 
number of the Puget Sound Dispatch. In 1872 Brown's son, Edward H., suc- 
ceeded Larabee and the firm became known as Brown & Son. In 1874 the son 
left the paper and Beriah Brow^n conducted it alone. In April, 1875, a half 
interest was sold to Austin A. Bell, and the paper was published under the 
name of Brown & Bell. In September, 1879, it was purchased by the Intelli- 

Beriah Brown was one of the old school of newspaper men, a writer of edi- 
torials worthy of the greatest papers of the United States. He was a friend 
of Horace Greeley, the elder Bennett and other noted editors of half a century 
ago. He rarely wrote anything for his own paper. His custom was to go 
to the case and put his articles in type as he composed them. It is hard to 
comprehend the difficulty occasioned by the dual processes of thought this 
brought into play. Local news is the life of all newspapers in young communi- 
ties. This he could not purvey, nor was his business management a success. 
The Dispatch was the second daily published in the city. 

The Pacific Tribune had been founded in Olympia, moved to Tacoma, and 
moved a second time to Seattle, in 1875. It was continued for three years in 
Seattle and in 1879 was sold by its owner, Thomas Prosch, to Mr. Ilanford. 

\Ve now turn to the career of the Post. In 1878 Mr. B. L. Northrup started 
a monthly agricultural journal under the title of North Pacific Rural. The time 
was not ripe for such a paper, and its circulation and good will were used as the 
basis of a new daily and weekly paper called the Post, which was first issued 
by K. C. and Mark Ward in October, 1878. The Post got into debt from the 
start and its control passed into the hands of several persons who had made 
money advances to defray the expenses of publication. It continued from bad 
to worse and the owners, anxious to get the investment off their hands, effected 
a merger with the Intelligencer owners, they to put the Post in on the basis of 
one-third, and the Intelligencer to be put in on the basis of two-thirds. 

The first quarters of the Seattle Weekly Post were in the two-story wooden 
building owned by Hillory Butler, on the ground now occupied by the southwest 
corner of the Hotel Butler on Second Avenue and James Street. In passing 
it may be added that this building was from time to time the home of more early 
papers than any other in the town — the Dispatch, North Pacific Rural, Post, 
Chronicle, Times, Press, and others with single and hyphenated titles long since 


In the meantime the Intelligencer had been installed in a larger two-story 
Iniikling, then standing on the west side of First Avenue, where it deflects into 
First Avenue South. Its owners, Thomas W. Prosch and Samuel L. Crawford, 
had been printers from boyhood, and Prosch had gained much experience as a 
newspaper man in ( )lympia and Tacoma. Under their management the Intelli- 
gencer continued to grow in value and influence, until in 1881 it was ready to 
absorb another mouthful. 

In this year, i&Si, the Post i'ublishing Company began the erection of a 
substantial brick building, two stories and basement, on the northeast corner of 
^'esler Way and Post Street. As it was nearing coni])lclion negotiations were 
opened for a consolidation of the Post and the Intelligencer. This was effected 
October i, 1881. The publication continued niuliT the name it bears today — 
The Post-Intelligencer. The building from which it was issued continued to be 
the home of the paper under several managements until the great fire of June 
i\ 1889, destroyed it and most of the plant. 

The Post-Intelligencer prospered under the management of Prosch, and early 
in 1886 was purchased by a joint stock company consisting of Frederick J. 
Grant, Clarence B. Bagley. Griffith Davies, Jacob Furth, John H. McGraw, 
E. S. Ingraham. \\'illiam H. Hughes, Thomas Burke, and Dr. Thomas Minor. 
Grant continued as editor-in-chief, Bagley was business manager, S. L. Craw- 
ford was city editor and reporter, and E. S. Meany had charge of the carrier 
service. On November i, 1886, Leigh S. J. Hunt purchased the controlling inter- 
est in the paper and continued it under the editorial management of Fred Grant. 
Stuart Smith became business manager, a position he held until 1890, when he 
resigned to go into the real estate business, and was succeeded by C. A. Hughes. 

Hunt had come to Seattle with large financial backing, determined to go 
into the newspaper field, and the majority of the stockholders, fearing he might 
^~tablish another paper and make it a powerful rival, sold him their interests. 
I'rior to the purchase the Post-Intelligencer had been conducted along the lines 
of an ordinary country newspaper. Hunt proceeded to spend money lavishly 
upon it and soon built it up into a metropolitan paper with one of the best staffs 
that have ever worked in Seattle. Among those who were responsible for making 
the i)aper a power in the Northwest were : Fred J. Grant, Alfred Holman, 
lulgar Piper, Joseph Levinson, Will II. Parry, John W. Pratt, Lucius R. I'.ige- 
low, Jabez B. Nelson, Hammond Lamont, George IT. Hcilbron, S. L. Crawford, 
' . T. Conover, R. C. Washburn, L. II. Hodges. 

Hunt's Seattle career was spectacular. He speedily proved himself to be 
\\iiat is known collo(|uially as a "live wire." I'rior to the ])aiiic of 1893 he became 
involved in mining and many other large enterprises, and the panic found him 
with his affairs so tangled that he could no longer hold the paper, which was 
taken over in May, 1894, by a coiupany composed of John Hoge, of Zanesville, 
Ohio; James D. Hoge, his nephew; George Ileilbron and Frederick J. Grant. 
James D. Hoge represented both his uncle and himself, and although not much 
more than a youth at the time, proved quite a successful newspaper publisher. 
.\ strange fatality, however, seemed to pursue the editorial end of his paper. 
Grant, in September, sailed on the ship Ivanhoe for a vacation. The ship was 
lost and all on board were drowned. Heilbron succeeded Grant and in April. 
1895, died. The next editor was John W. Pratt, who had not served long before 


he resigned. R. C. Washburn then became editor. Hoge conducted such a 
strong fight on the popuHsts in 1896 that a mob of them assembled beneath his 
office window during the campaign and cheered him with vocal assurance that 
they would hang his body on a sour apple tree. As Hoge today is the president 
of a large and successful financial institution — the Union Savings and Trust 
Company — neither the decimation of his editorial force nor the threats of the 
politically excited people apparently had any harmful effect on him. 

The paper became a power in the politics of the state, and this led to its 
sale by Hoge to a group of Spokane peo])le who wished to acquire influence 
in public affairs on the western side of the mountains. The transfer was made 
in September, 1897. George Turner was at the head of the Spokane group and 
Edgar B. Piper and George U. Piper, of Seattle, joined forces with him, Edgar 
becoming editor and George business manager. Edgar Piper, later editor of 
the Oregonian, of Portland, maintained the paper at a high editorial level, but 
Turner did not feel inclined to continue in tlie newspaper business, so in the fall 
of 1899 asked E. C. Hughes and Maurice McJ\'Iicken, then, as now, law partners 
in Seattle, to find a purchaser for it. 

The Post-Intelligencer then entered upon one of the most interesting periods 
of its career and brought into increased prominence a man who made a deep 
impression on the public aff'airs of the state — John L. Wilson, of Spokane. In 
the campaign of 1896 James J. Hill, anxious to keep the politics of the state as 
well in hand as possible, as was the method of railways at the time, sent $10,000 
to Mr. Wilson to use in the interests of the republican party. Mr. Wilson sent 
the money back and with it a letter stating that the state was surely going 
populist and that to spend the money would merely be to waste it. This some- 
what startled Mr. Hill, who had often spent money to assist the political party 
which he favored, but who, up to that time, had never received any of it back. 
He thanked Wilson and was so impressed with the honesty of the Spokane man 
that he said in his letter, "If an occasion ever arises when I can do anything for 
you, let me know." 

There was no relation between this letter and the action of Messrs. Hughes 
and McMicken, but they decided that Wilson might be able to handle the paper, 
and telegraphed him asking if he cared to purchase it for $400,000. At that 
time the extent of Mr. Wilson's resources were so far short of the amount 
named that he treated the telegram as a good joke and in that light showed it to 
A. P. Sawyer, who was then his secretary. Sawyer, however, saw possibilities 
ahead and persuaded Wilson to telegraph James J. Hill that tlie time to do some- 
thing for him had arrived. Sawyer wrote the telegram and Wilson signed it 
with so much misgiving that Sawyer had no sooner left the office to send it than 
Wilson started in pursuit of him to recall it. Sawyer, however, had anticipated 
such action, for he had small confidence in the lasting power of his persuasive 
eloquence, and did not go to the telegraph office that Wilson expected him to, 
but sent the message from the depot. Wilson arrived at the telegraph office 
and upon being assured that Sawyer had not yet called, remained there all 
afternoon, until he became persuaded that Sawyer had seen the futility of trying 
to interest Hill and had decided not to send the telegram. 

Next morning Wilson received the greatest surprise of his career in the shape 
of a telegram from Mr. Hill stating that the money would be forthcoming. The 


])iircliasc was made by an Kaslcrn linaiicial corporalion uiidcrwriling $400,000 
of 6 per cent bonds, redeemable at the rate of $20,000 per annum for twenty 
years. Mr. Wilson took charge of the paper December i, 1899. J. G. Pyle 
became editor and S. P. Weston business manager. In September, 1903, Mr. 
I'yle resigned and Horace McCIure directed the editorial end of the paper until 
lanuary i, 1904, w-hen Erastus Braincrd became editor. Mr. Pirainerd con- 
tinued in the position until September i, 191 1, when he was succeeded by Scott 
C. Bone, the present editor. Mr. Brainerd proved to be a forceful editor, and 
while he was in the editorial saddle he conducted many campaigns with a vigor 
that made its impress on the historj- of the city. 

On August I, 1912, A. S. Taylor, at that time one of the most prominent 
and substantial men of Everett, and Scott C. Bone purchased the control of the 
Post-Intelligencer. The paper is now the sole occupant of the morning field 
in Seattle and is the only publication having the seven-day Associated Press 
franchise. Before he came to Seattle Air. Bone was one of the most prominent 
news])aper men in the East and he has maintained the Post-Intelligencer on a 
dignified but enterprising plane. Mr. Taylor's business policy has cleansed its 
advertising columns of anything of a dubious nature and has made the paper 
one that Seattle has reason to be completely satisfied with. Beriah Brown, Jr., 
whose name runs through the newspaper history of Seattle since its early days, 
i> one of the editorial writers on the Post-Intelligcnccr, and T. J. Dillon, one 
uf the most polished writers in the Northwest, is managing editor. 

Having followed the history of the Post-Intelligencer until the present day, 
we can now go back and pick up the milestones that mark other activities that, 
were contemporaneous with the incidents related above. 

ill 1881 Kirk C. Ward, who had lost control of the Post, W. .\i. Beach, 
Judge R. Andrews and Beriah Brown, Jr., started the Chronicle, first as an 
evening paper and later as a morning daily. It had a varied career and finally 
became the property of one of the leading law firms of the city, McNaught, 
Ferry, McNaught & Mitchell. They employed as editor a Bohemian from 
Kansas named Frank C. Montgomery who conducted it until May i, 1886. 
On that date it was purchased by Homer M. Hill, who is now engaged in other 
business in Seattle. 

In the early '80s there was great activity in the newspaper field, and the 
Herald, Call, Finback, Bulletin and Mirror were among the papers that were 
started. Fortunes were sunk in an endeavor to make them self-supporting. Only 
the Call survived. 

On July 5, 1882, a company consisting of W. G. C. Pitt, T. H. Bates, and 
Thaddeus Hanford issued the first number of their new paper, the Herald, 
which was printed on the old Pacific Tribune material. Mr. Pitt was the man- 
ager and the jiapcr had offices in Colman Row, First Avenue. It was an even- 
ing paper issued daily and had a weekly edition. The Post-Intelligencer had 
things pretty much its own way in Seattle at this time, and besides the city 
could hardly stand another daily. On September 18, T884, the Herald suspended 
one issue owing to financial trf)ul)les which contiiuicd until its final suspension, 
October 8. 1884. 

The Call had incurred the opposition of those not in favor of anti-Giinese 
agitation and this, together with the fact that certain printers had been thrown 


out of work by the consolidation of the two papers, caused the formation of a 
new daily, the Times, whose first number came out with the first issue of the 
Press. Thomas H. Dempsey, foreman of the Chronicle office, J. R. Andrews, 
and one or two others, quickly formed a company and issued the Times with 
the understanding, it is said, that the paper was to receive a subsidy for six 
months. In March, 1887, Col. George G. Lyon, a writer of ability, secured a 
half interest in the paper, and he and Mr. Dempsey conducted the paper with 
wonderful efficiency. It is probable that one or the other of the two papers 
would have gone to the wall had it not been for the fact that a great boom in real 
estate began in Seattle, and the heavy amount of advertising which was available 
kept the papers going until the city was large enough to support them. 

When Homer M. Hill bought the Chronicle on May i, 1886, the Hall brothers 
were conducting the Call. Two days later, May 3, Hill acquired control of the 
Call and consolidated the two papers as the Seattle Press, daily and weekly. 
He was a capable business man and under his management the paper became a 
valuable property. Interests in it were sold and bought back from time to time 
and when Llill closed out his ownership Harry White held some of its shares ; 
also at one time John Cort held a considerable interest in it. At that time the 
paper was absolutely free from debt and was making money for its owners. 

In 1889 W. E. Bailey, a wealthy young man from Philadelphia who had 
large interests here, became the victim of an ambition to conduct a big newspaper. 
Under these circumstances Hill had no difficulty in getting his price for the Press. 
L. S. J. Hunt of the Post-Intelligencer conducted the negotiations, made the 
purchase and at once transferred the property to Bailey. Bailey made important 
additions to the mechanical department and engaged a large news and editorial 
force. S. R. Frazier was made editor and was succeeded later by Erastus ]\I. 
Brainerd, a newspaper man from Philadelphia. 

At the time Hill bought the Chronicle it owned the Associated Press evening 
franchise, which was its most valuable asset. And in passing it is proper to 
note the fact that the present Times is the lineal successor of the Chronicle. 
\\'hile for a brief period there was a break in the legal succession, it may be 
truthfully said that the historical succession to the Associated Press franchise 
is derived from the Chronicle down through the Press and the Press-Times to 
the Times of today. 

February 10, 1891, Bailey bought the Times from Lyon and Dempsey, paying 
S48.000 for it. He had paid somewhere from $20,000 to $25,000 for the Press. 
Immediately he consolidated the two under the name of the Press-Times. During 
the years that followed business in Seattle was none too good and the papers 
had a hard struggle for existence. Their circulation was not great and the 
amount of advertising carried in their columns was not sufficient to make the 
financial side of the ventures anything but a source of worry to the owners. 
The period of financial depression bore heavily on Bailey and he was finally 
compelled to give up the paper to his creditors, having lost $200,000 during his 
journalistic career. 

The history of its subsequent difficulty would fill a volume but can be touched 
upon but briefly here. The paper was on the market for a long time. John 
Collins had it for a while, and sunk a lot of money in it, having acquired it 
through a mortgage of $15,000. Later John W. Pratt secured control of it. 


At times it was published by a receiver. Hughes and Davis came into control 
of it through cx-slieriff, James W'ooler)', who had taken it over under the 
mortgage given to John Collins. 

During this troubled period among other happenings the name was changed 
to the Times, and also the Associated Press franchise was surrendered and that 
of the United Service taken over. Later, and subsequent to the mortgage of 
$15,000 given to John Collins, the Associated Press franchise was again secured, 
and this was a vital point in the legal contest that arose between the Times 
Printing Company, headed by .\. J. lUethen on one side, and Hughes & Davies 
on the other. 

In 1896 Col. Alden J. Blethen came to Seattle from -Minneapolis, and August 
7th purchased the Press-Times and soon made his personality felt in the news- 
paper world. Mis first editorial appeared in it three days later. He came well 
equipped for newspaper work and management by reason of wide e.vperiencc 
in other fields. In July of the next year, the steamer Portland come out of the 
North with its story of the golden Klondike and Colonel Blethen, who had short- 
ened the name of the paper to the Seattle Daily Times, took advantage of the 
opix)rtunity presented by the new prosperity which Seattle experienced, and 
assisted by his sons, Joseph and Clarence B., built up that publication until 
today it is one of the best newspaper properties in the West and one of the 
great dailies of the United States. 

Since Colonel Blethen's death, July 12, 1915, Joseph Blethen has succeeded 
to the presidency and general management, and Clarence l!. P.lethen, to the 

At the solicitation of the writer he has been permitted to use the following 
word picture of the colonel's daily life, and keen analysis of the motives and 
aspirations that ennobled his character. It is from the jkii of Paul H. hovering, 
one of the city's most gifted writers: 

"For twenty years, no man in Seattle exercised a more potent influence on 
its history and affairs than Col. Alden J. Blethen. Strong physically an<l a 
giant mentally, he was gifted with a marvelous faculty for drawing others to 
iiim and of knitting them to him with bonds stronger than steel. (Original in 
thought, far-seeing in business affairs, a forceful wriur and a keen student of 
human nature, he comliincd within himself all the elements re(|uire(l by a suc- 
cessful editor-publisher. 

"His mind was literally a vast storehouse of information. Its activities were 
as varied as the items in the tide of news that flowed daily through the columns 
of his paper; and his memory was phenomenal. l''verylhing interested him. 
i le would listen to the story of a little child, coming to his desk to sell flowers 
or to solicit a donation for a worthy charity, with the same fresh interest that 
he (lis])Iayed when discussing the most momentous national or civic problems. 
X'o man was great enough to overawe him ; none so inconspicuous as to be 
denied a hearing. Throughout the years I knew him and for many preceding, 
his office door was never closed and through it flowed daily a tide of humanitv 
as amazingly diverse as the causes in which they sought to enlist his aid. I, i)er- 
sonally, have known him to rise from an imjiortant conference and step to the 
door to hand a gift to a broken-down beggar, who found charity there when 
he would have been denied elsewhere. They knew him — those decrepit "has- 


beens' — and they came to him unhesitatingly, certain that he would not refuse, 
no matter how unworthy the applicant. 

"His charity was proverbial and as spontaneous as the laugh to a child's 
lips. He gave, because, to him, giving was life's greatest joy. He gave because 
the wail of human sorrow was agony to his heart. He gave because he was so 
big that he could not resist a certain feeling of guardianship over those who 
lacked the things that Nature had so lavishly showered upon him — health and 
courage and an indomitable will to succeed. 

"Once a teacher, he was ever a student. For years, it was his custom at 
the close of a working day that commenced at 9 o'clock in the morning (or 
earlier) and did not end until g or 10 o'clock at night, to spend a half hour or 
more in his office library, reading the classics of every age and of every people. 
I sometimes think those were the happiest hours he spent outside of his own 
family circle. In the company of the great minds of this and preceding ages 
he found a companionship of thought that diverted his attention from the vexing 
little problems of every day life. 

"Never was there a man of such untiring energy. A lofty ambition was the 
mainspring of his being. He was never content to rest on his laurels, even in 
the days when his feet were stumbling along the final allotted miles of his 
earthly course. To the last, he remained the great constructive dreamer, seeing 
further ahead than his contemporaries and striving, against every obstacle, to 
carry to completion great plans for the upbuilding of his city and his state. 
The names of both were dear to him. He was jealous of their prosperity and 
their progress. To safeguard both, he gave himself unsparingly, making up, 
by long hours of overwork in the conduct of his own affairs, the time he unsel- 
fishly devoted to the public welfare. 

"That love for his city and his state was a part of his almost fanatic patriot- 
ism. To him, there was only one land — his own ; there was only one just form 
of government — his land's ; and he hated, with all the hatred of which his 
kindly nature was capable, any and every man who assailed the one or repudiated 
the other. When he ran the American flag up to the masthead of his paper 
(and it is still there), it was both as a promise to his readers and as an inspira- 
tion to himself. And howsoever much his public might have changed, he would 
have fought on to death under that flag, had he been the only living man to love 
and venerate it. 

"That noble inspiration gave rise to two of his most striking characteristics — • 
the sanctity of his business word and his loyalty. With him, 'his word is as 
good as his bond' was no hackneyed phrase. No man ever was trusted more 
fully ; none repaid trust more abundantly. Upon those who surrounded him in 
his great newspaper enterprise, he depended absolutely. He was the last to 
distrust and the first to pardon. And, in return, without seeking it, he received 
such meed of uncjuestioning loyalty as comes to few. No feudal lord ever 
enjoyed more complete attachment from his followers than did Colonel Blethen 
from his friends and his employes. 'The loyalty of the Times' staiif' was pro- 
verbial wherever newspaper men congregated and of the legacies he handed 
down to his sons, none was accounted more precious than this. 

"As might be expected, such an individuality was not bound by narrow rules 
and commonplaces. He did not despise conventionalities ; he did not realize that 


they existed. Sustained by a high moral purpose and wiiii his eyes set on 
great achievements, he strode forward Uke a strong man in a race, stretching 
out an eager, purposeful hand to pluck for his community the things it needed 
to grow great, strong and enduring. He never considered himself in these 
fights; he never considered others. H they fought shoulder to shoulder with 
him, so much the better; if they sought to impede the advance toward bigger 
and better things, he brushed them aside. 

"Xaturally, such a positive soul antagonized negative natures. His never 
were pale or neutral-tinted thoughts and ideals. What he knew, he knew with- 
out doubt or question ; what he did, he did straightforwardly and directly, as 
big men would and should. He might have pitied the passive blunderers had 
he had time to consider their views, for he was both kindly and broad-minded; 
but he was so busy working out great ends that he had scant leisure to weigh 
and judge the sordid little claims of lesser men. Hence the opposition he 
sometimes encountered and, on occasion, the enmity he aroused. The latter 
he ignored. He was too big and too busy to pile up grudges. The former 
made him impatient but impatience never caused him to waver in his purpose. 
Instead, he struck out the more gallantly, smiting error unsparingly and driving 
onward, ever onward, toward the high goals of his noble ambition. 

"He was of the type that is not the product of success but that commands 
success. No easy road to wealth and distinction opened before his youthful 
feet. Even robust health was denied him in his early years. But the old New 
England blood, that gave him his courage and tenacity of purpose, also gave 
him a wonderful vitality. He conquered physical weakness while mastering 
knowledge, and maturity found him mighty both in brawn and brain. Depres- 
sion was foreign to his nature. He could not be gloomy; life held too much of 
promise, too much that was worth fighting for, to waste it in morbid introspec- 
tion. And, in every great crisis of his career, a wonderful sanity held him 
true to himself and to the great principles that dominated his life. 

"This, in brief, was the man who has been declared (not unjustly, I believe) 
the last of the great editors of his time. In a way, he typified an epoch — the 
epoch of great American achievement, when the nation, as a lusty youth, was 
carving out of a new land the imperial domain of the greatest republic the 
world has ever known. He was a part of those big things. He helped create 
them and the creating left an indelible impress upon his being. They filled his 
mind with great ambitions; they taught him how to realize those ambitions. 

"So, in the end, it must be written that throughout the fruitful years of his 
long life, he was above all things else a great and noble dreamer, who possessed 
a marvelous faculty for translating his dreams into actualities." 

Washington has always been a republican state. At various times during 
its history it has been swung over into the democratic column, but these tem- 
porary departures from the republican path have been ca*ised by fights over 
purely local matters, or as protests against some action of the dominant political 
power rather than through any permanent change in the political belief of a 
large number of citizens. This strong republican element has made it very 
difficult for a democratic paper to succeed, the nearest approach to success upon 
the part of such a paper having been attained by the daily Telegraph during the 
early '90s. This paper started under the most favorable circumstances and 


with every promise of becoming a successful enterprise ; in fact its popularity 
proved too much for the Alorning Journal with the result that it was purchased 
and combined with the Telegraph in December. 

Seattle, at the time of the establishment of the Telegraph, was passing through 
one of those stages which have preceded every democratic victory the state 
has known. Municipal affairs were in a shameful condition ; the wide- 
open-town idea had been allowed to go the limit and the citizens had reached 
the end of their patience. The republicans, who had allowed gambling, unre- 
stricted prostitution, prize fighting, and every other demoralizing element to 
flourish openly and unblushingly, seemed to feel sure in their position when 
the Telegraph opened a campaign against them. Thousands of dollars were 
spent in this campaign, which developed into one of the hottest newspaper 
wars ever waged in the city. The Telegraph represented the democratic side 
of the controversy, the republican interests being cared for by the Post-Intelli- 
gencer, which with its party went down to defeat at the hands of the voters 
on March 7, 1892, when J. T. Ronald was elected mayor. 

The Seattle Daily Telegraph was established chiefly through the efforts of 
D. E. Durie, the stockholders being a quartet of prominent democrats, namely 
Judge Thomas Burke, David E. Durie, Daniel H. Oilman, all of Seattle, and 
J. J. Browne of Spokane. The first issue appeared August 10, 1890, and the 
final issue December 8, 1894, the paper having been sold by-the late John Collins, 
its last owner, to the Post-Intelligencer, which, however, took over only the 
subscription lists, the linotype machines and a small amount of other apparatus. 

The Seattle Daily Telegraph entered the newspaper field with D. E. Durie 
as manager, A. V. Ryan, editor; Alexander Begg, business manager, and John 
G. Egan, city editor, with a reportorial staff, consisting of Frank Hartly Jones, 
Charles D. South, Martin J. Egan, now publicity man for the great New York 
banking house of J. P. Morgan and Company, and T. W. Todd, the latter of 
whom continued with the paper throughout its life, having assisted in getting 
out the first issue and the last as well ; no other man connected with the editorial 
department remaining with it from its birth to its suspension of publication in 
the manner stated. Very early in its career the late Lovett M. Wood, founder 
of the Seattle Trade Register, became a member of the editorial staff and re- 
mained with the paper over two years. Will A. Steele, the well known Alaska 
newspaper publisher, E. L. Reber, former city editor of the Post-Intelligencer, 
W. J. Tobin, George J. Stoneman, Frank M. Sullivan, now a banker, were all 
for a time members of the Telegraph's staff, Steele as city editor more or less of 
the time, and the others as reporters. 

Charles H. Lugrin, now a barrister of Victoria, joined the Telegraph early 
in its career as an editorial writer. Later, with the sale of the paper to V. A. 
Ryan, its editor-in-chief, and his early sale of the publication to the late John 
Collins, Lugrin became its editor and continued so until the end. 

V. A. Ryan succeeded D. E. Durie as editor in October, 1891. A year later 
he purchased the interests of Messrs. Burke and Gilman who had become tired 
of the heavy financial drain upon them. As a matter of fact, while several 
men connected with the paper at different times were somewhat the losers thereby, 
Judge Burke's loss was more thani the combined losses of the others. After a 
few weeks of operation, Mr. Ryan sold it to John Collins, Homer Hill and Fred 


E. Sander, each one-third interest, Mr. Hill becoming the manager. It was 
under his management that the first Mergenthaler linotypes ever brought to the 
state were installed in the Telegraph office. About one year of management 
sufficed for Mr. Hill, and he and Mr. Sander sold out to John Collins, who 
installed C. H. Lugrin as managing editor. 

The Telegraph had succeeded in ousting one corrupt administration but the 
new municipal authorities were not able to improve conditions. Grafting con- 
tinued ; the city treasurer, Adolph Krug, defaulted and disappeared leaving a 
shortage of about one hundred thousand dollars behind him. The Post-Intelli- 
gencer, remembering the defeat which its parly had met at the hands of the 
people, was not slow in exposing every little administrative shortcoming, and the 
democrats were turned out of office at the next election. 

As the Telegraph had been a losing venture from the start, the defeat of its 
party in the municipal election was the beginning of the end. That it had been 
a formidable competitor, is shown by the following annouiicemenl, made by its 
new owner the morning after the sale was closed : 

"The patrons of the Post-Intelligencer will be the gainers by the absorption 
of the Seattle Telegraph. It is expected that the Post-Intelligencer will secure 
4,000 new subscribers by reason of the consolidation. .As a result of this in- 
creased patronage, the Post-Intelligencer will be able to increase and improve its 
new service. The first important improvement will begin next Sunday, when 
the Post-Intelligencer will issue a si.xteen-page pa])cr, containing special matter 
of general interest." 

Thus ended the career of the most pretentious dcniocratic paper ever estab- 
lished in the state. 

The Seattle Daily Telegraph was always a clean newspaper and very ably 
edited as well. Both V. A. Ryan and C. H. Lugrin wielded trenchant pens 
and for invective and biting sarcasm Ryan perhaps never had a superior west 
of the Rockies. But as a money making venture, the Telegraph was a sad 
failure. However, nothing like as much money was sunk in the venture as was 
supposed. Guesses have been made ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 ; but as 
a matter of fact, the actual money spent in the effort to establish and give the 
Seattle Daily Telegraph continuous life probably did mil exceed $100,000. 

The first numljcr of The Argus, Seattle's oldest weekly i>aper, was issued 
I'ebruary 17, i^j4. It was founded by A. T. Ambrose and O. N. Furbush. 
Beriah Brown. Jr., now of the Post-Intelligenccr, was the first editor. During 
the following March, H. A. Giadwick purchased Mr. Furbush 's interest and 
assumed etlitorial management, which he has held ever since, the paper being 
published under the firm name of Chadwick & .Ambrose. Upon the death of 
Mr. .Ambrose, which occurred Thursday, May 17, 1900, Mr. Chadwick purchased 
his interest in the paper. Under his editorial and business manageincnt. it has 
become a valuable news])apcr property, and commands the respect of all those 
who admire clean journalism. Its holiday edition is always a work of beauty 
and each number is well worth the price of the yearly volume. 

The Pacific Fisherman was founded by Miller Freeman in the fall of 1902, 
the first issue appearing in January, 1903. It is devoted exclusively to the 
commercial fisheries of the Pacific Coast and is the largest and most com[)re- 
hensive publication of its kind in the world. Miller Freeman, publisher; John 


N. Cobb, editor, and Russell Palmer, manager. The associated fishing inter- 
ests are a power in the commercial, financial and political circles of the Pacific 
Northwest, and the organization back of the Pacific Fisherman and its ally, the 
Washington Farmer, wields an influence in the State of Washington that is not 
generally understood by the reading public. 

The Railway & Marine News is a publication devoted to all that pertains to 
transportation in the Northwest, British Columbia and Alaska. It was incor- 
porated September 2, 1904, by Frank T. Hunter, Wilbur F. Coleman and Wm. M. 
Sheffield. Shortly after its first issue Stephen L. Coles, a New York newspaper 
man, became editor of the publication. In January, 1906, J. P.' Parkinson, at 
that time city editor of the Post-Intelligencer, purchased the property and pub- 
lished the same for many years. The paper was re-incorporated and re-organ- 
ized June I, 1913. by Mr. Parkinson, Kenneth C. Kerr and Wm. E. Kidd, 
Mr. Kerr becoming editor. Mr. Parkinson died in .Seattle in November, 1913, 
and the publication has continued under its corporate powers and has become 
the recognized authority on shipping matters of the North Pacific. 

The morning daily that entered the newspaper field in Seattle under conditions 
that gave more promise of success than any of its ntmierous predecessors, save, 
possibly, the Telegraph, was the Morning Times. 

Its first number appeared April 2, 1907, and its last November 30th of the 
same year. 

Col. A. J. Blethen and Joseph and Clarence B. Blethen were its founders, and 
also, were editor-in-chief, assistant editor and managing editor. The Times 
office was already equipped with fast presses and all the best mechanical appli- 
ances necessary in getting out the Evening Times. Their services and office 
rentals were free and many other items of expense were charged to the evening 
paper ; no losses were charged to depreciation upon the plant, yet in eight months 
the actual cash deficit was over eighty thousand dollars, or more than ten 
thousand dollars per month. 

Charles Alfred Williams was for a time city editor and later managing editor, 
and Albert Johnson, night editor. 

From the time L. S. J. Hunt purchased the Post-Intelligencer, the morning 
field has been fully occupied. Every attempt that has been made in the last 
thirty years to successfully establish a rival morning journal in Seattle has 
failed and the losses to the promoters have reached a large aggregate. 

Perhaps in the case of the Telegraph, had not the hard times of 1893 and 
years following fallen so heavily upon Seattle, with failure in business of so 
many advertisers of all classes, it might have weathered the storm, but that is 
idle speculation. 

On April 30, 1888, the Enterprise was started, but ran only a month as there 
did not seem to be enough democrats in Seattle to keep it going, its announced 
adherence to the cause of democracy not producing enough financial returns to 
make its continued existence possible. In the same year Alexander Begg and 
Edmond S. Meany started the Trade Journal, which became the Journal when 
it was taken over in the spring of 1890 by John Leary. W. H. Lewellyn, B. F. 
Shaubut and others. In 1891 it was absorbed by the Telegraph. 

In 1883 Die Tribune was started in Seattle. It was printed in German and 
was the first paper to be printed in the state in any foreign language. 


There were any iiuniber of papers started in the later 'joa and the '80s, most 
of which liad but a brief existence. Some of those most prominent are given. 

The Puget Sound Industrial World, a semi-monthly journal devoted to hnn- 
ber, mining, milling, ship building and hop growing interests. It was published 
at 627 First Avenue. 

The Seattle Daily Hotel Reporter, emanating from both Seattle and Tacoma, 
was launched by Messrs. Talbot & ITofTman, June 15, 1889, and was subse- 
quently published by Mr. Talbot, alone, at Tacoma. 

The Seattle Sunday Budget was started a few weeks before the tire by Sam- 
uel R. Frasier, who continued as editor and proprietor until he was made editor 
(jf the Press when he disposed of his interests to others. Its headquarters were 
at 116 Yesler. 

The American Continent was published by M. Choir at the old "N'esler-Leary 

The Xorth Seattle Advocate was issued by H. Leland and J. J. Knapp under 
the lirm name of H. Leland & Co. at 2317 First .Avenue. It was a weekly 
coming out each Saturday. 

The Leader was a temperance organ and was established .April 11, 1889. 

The Mirror was also a temperance paper being founded somewhere between 
the years 1880 and 1883. It wound up its career on September 14, 1884, after 
having published forty-five numbers. 

The Monday Morning Telegram was started November 19, 1S88, by R. R. 
Stevens. H. Scott and W. J. Grambs, E. N. Evans being manager. It lived 
only a short time. 

The Prompter was first issued January 10, 1S78, by John Jack and P. J. 
Wade. It was very interesting because of the period it represents, but had a 
brief existence. 

The Washington Posten and the Washington Tidende were the first Nor- 
wegian papers to appear in the city having their origin about 1888. 

The Voice of the People was launched as a daily and weekly on August 21, 
1886, and lasted until May 31, 1887. 

The V'estra Posten was the first Swedish organ in Seattle being founded in 
the later '80s by the Swedish Publishing Company, consisting of B. A. An- 
derson, president and treasurer; N. P. Lind, vice president, and T. Sandegren, 
secretary. It came out as a weekly from 806 Denny Way. 

The True Tone was a Sunday paper of the later '80s founded and edited 
by S. G. Young, and claiming to be an independent journal devoted to the inter- 
ests of literature and art. 

The Wacht am Sunde was founded February 2, 1884, by Philip Schmitz 
and Ernest lioppe, and lasted until September 4, 1885, when the proprietors took 
it to Tacoma. 

The Washington Churchman was a monthly organ founded January, 1889, 
and devoted to the interests of the Episcopal denomination. Reverend George 
Herbert Watson was the first editor. .\t the time of its founding it was the 
first denominational paper in Seattle. 

On .\ugust 13, 1888, .Alexander Rcgg and Edmond S. Meany started a paper 
called the Trade Journal, devoted to the interest of the commercial public. It 


contained market reports, stock quotations, etc., but later enlarged its interests 
to include general news items. Shortly before the fire it was sold to others. 

Mr. iiegg then tried his hand with the Citizen, a weekly which lived but a 
short time. Another venture was the Washington Magazine, a monthly, founded 
in September, 1889. 

On October 27, 1888, the Standard Publishing Company, with John F. Xorris 
as manager, issued the Sunday Standard from 117 Marion Street. It was very 

The Seattle Morning Journal was launched sometime in the later '80s as 
an independent daily from 120 James Street. E. VV. S. Tingle was editor, and 
Charles S. Painter business manager. 

The Seattle Sunday Star, the oldest of the Sunday papers, was founded 
A'ovember 11, 1883, by a man named Blake. He was shortly afterwards suc- 
ceeded by Kirk C. \Vard. The paper was burned out in the fire of 1889 but 
came back in better form and continued into the "gos. 

Die Puget Sound Post was established Xovember 5, 1883, by Schmidt & 

A few other papers familiar to the '80s are the Finback ; Die Tribune ; Puget 
Sound Gazetteer, and Real Estate Advertiser. 

The Ballard News was established in the old City of Ballard, now a part of 
Seattle by annexation, in 1891. The present owners bought the plant in 1902 
from Woody & Dowd, who had operated it only a short time. Before that 
<late it had been in many hands and changed almost with the moon. Since 1902 
it has been owned and ojierated by Albert E. and Oscar R. Ruffner, who came 
from Crawfordsville, Ind., in July of that year. ISoth were practical printers 
and since buying the plant they have enlarged it by adding new machinery 
including a fast press and a type composing machine. The paper published by 
the company has always been rc]iublican in politics and has been identified with 
every mo\'ement that was for the upbuilding of the Ballard district. 

In 1899. E. H. W'ells founded the Seattle Star, the firm name being E. H. 
Wells & Company, E. W. Scripps, now the controlling spirit of some scores of 
daily publications in all parts of the United States, being the company. E. F. 
Chase became business manager. Sixteen months after the paper started the 
Star Publishing Company was organized by its owners. The Star then, as it 
does now, fought the battles of the so-called "common people" and achieved ex- 
traordinary success. Under Mr. ^Vells it became a power politically and con- 
tinued to wield great influence in the affairs of the city and country. In 1909, 
Mr. Wells sold his interests in the paper and was succeeded as editor by Kenneth 
C. Beaton, who resigned in 191 1, since which time Leroy Sanders has been 

Some three years after disposing of his interest in the Star, Mr. W'ells, 
together w ith Lawrence J. Colman, John P. Hartman, T. S. Lippy, H. W. Treat 
and others organized the Sun Publishing Company and began the publication 
of the Seattle Sun, the first issue appearing February 3, 1913. It is doubtful if 
any newspaper ever launched on the journalistic sea started its voyage under 
more promising circumstances than did the Sun. With a mechanical equipment 
the best that money could buy; with a paid up circulation of over forty thousand; 
with a successful newspaper man at its head, and with a growing city and com- 


munity as its field, the Sun was a success before a single issue was ever run off its 
presses. It was at all times popular with the reading public, but not so with 
llic advertisers, some of whom its policy antagonized. They withdrew their 
patronage and the financial end of the business ran into trouble. 

The outbreak of the war in Europe in July, 1914, and the unsettled business 
conditions which it brought with it, added fuel to the financial flames which 
were at that time threatening the Sun and it was soon found necessary to make 
a change in management. S. P. Weston took charge of the business as manager, 
but the tide did not turn and on December 15th, Weston was appointed receiver; 
the enterprise was a wreck into which had gone the fortunes of several of its 

Seeing that they would be thrown out of employment if the i)apcr was forced 
to suspend, the employes, early in December, held a meeting in the composing 
room at which it was agreed to organize a new company, the stock of which 
should be accepted by them in lieu of wages. By bonding the com])any and 
selling the bonds to the public it was hoped to raise sufficient money with which 
to continue the publication until business conditions should improve. The plan 
was adopted and efforts began at once to sell the bonds; but it was too late, 
the employes could not obtain capital quickly enough to satisfy the creditors and 
on December 29th the Sun was forced to suspend. 

Pooling their wage claims the employes bought the greater part of the mechan- 
ical plant of the Sun Publishing Company, agreeing at the same time to meet 
the unpaid debt on one of the presses and certain other machinery. As soon as 
the sale had been confirmed by the court the employes held another meeting and 
organized the Sun Printing Company. I-X)cal people outside of the newspaper 
business were induced to purchase stock and the following officers were elected : 
J. W. Efaw, president; Fletcher Lewis, secretary; B. C. McCormick, business 
manager; Frank Roberts, managing editor. These men, together with H. L. 
Gark, George A. X'irtue and A. F. Moore, were chosen trustees. 

Finding that the public was not subscribing to the stock as rapidly as they 
had hoped, the officers decided, late in March, to issue a sample paper which 
would show the people that the new company really meant business. This sam- 
jile was issued on March 31, 1915. and contained the following announcement: 
•'The Seattle Sun will resume publication Monday, April 19th. Each day there- 
after there will be issued a virile, independent, non-partisan newspaper." The 
new paper was pledged to work for the prohibition of the licjuor traffic, for civic 
decency, for progressive government and was dedicated to clean journalism. 

Sun stock was a slow .seller even after the company had demonstrated its 
ability to publish a ten-page paper and it was not until Monday, April 26th, 
that regular publication began. The new Sun, like the old, started with a large 
circulation, fully three-fourths of the former readers showing their good wishes 
for the success of the enterprise by subscribing; but the small advertising patron- 
age was the one disappointing feature which the "force." composed of fifty men, 
women, boys and girls, had to face at their meetings in the editorial rooms every 
Sunday afternoon. Kind words of appreciation from subscribers satisfy the 
intellectual ambitions of newspaper workers, but cash from advertisers is re- 
ciuired to meet the very material bills which, with great persistency, demand set- 


tlement. This latter fact was soon demonstrated in the frequent meetings of 
the force. 

Economy in operation had been the watchword from the beginning, but the 
full leased wire service was found to be too expensive and gave way to pony 
dispatches ; every editor and reporter increasing his efiforts to cover the local 
field so thoroughly that the columns would be filled with news. About August 
1st, even the pony service bill could no longer be met, and for the next three 
weeks the telegraph editor "grapevined" his dispatches from the Post-Intelli- 
gencer, Times and Star, while the board of trustees, assisted by certain loyal 
friends whom it is not necessary to name, redoubled their efforts to induce some 
newspaper man to come to Seattle and buy the plant. Time after time during 
this last three weeks of the Sun's life, the "force" was called together in the 
editorial rooms and told that the latest plan for financing or selling the paper 
had failed. Time after time the question of suspending publication was put to 
a vote only to meet a unanimous and ringing "No !" Some members of the 
force faced starvation, they walked to work in the morning and walked home 
in the evening, but still they fought for the Sun which, to them, had become a 
living, breathing entity. 

Among the prospective purchasers was a San Francisco man, a former em- 
ployer of a member of the force. It was finally decided that this man offered 
the only hope of continuing the paper, so the member of the force who knew 
him was sent to San Francisco with instructions to sell the business or, failing 
in this, to ofi^er all the stock held by the employes as a gift to the prospective 
purchaser, provided he would come to Seattle and continue the paper. The 
last money in the company treasury went to pay the expenses of the trip and 
the advertising accounts were hypothecated for money with which to buy paper 
for the remaining days of the week. Saturday came with no word from the 
agent who had gone to San Francisco; Sunday came, also a wire stating that the 
plan had failed. This was August 29th. 

Monday morning the force was on hand, ready for work, but their paper was 
dead. Going to his instrument, the telegraph man opened the key and ticked 
ofi the word "thirty" and the Sun passed out of existence. The trustee into 
whose hands the disposal of the plant had been placed some days before, began 
selling the type and machinery, and be it said to the credit of the stockholders, 
both within and without the force, the affairs of the Sun were settled without 
going into court. Its bills were all paid and its employes, many of whom had 
drawn but little money during the four months of its life, charged their losses 
to experience, feeling that they had had the honor of playing a part in the 
gamest fight ever made for a newspaper — a fight, the details of which but 
few of the people of Seattle even know little about. 

Speaking of the causes responsible for the failure o£ the paper, one of the 
members of the force recently said : "No, it was not the dull times, neither 
was it the stand taken by the Sun on the question of prohibition. True it is 
that they both contributed to the starving to death of the Sun, but the underlying 
cause can be found in the fact that by far the larger part of the stock was held 
by those who did the actual work of publishing the paper. Many large adver- 
tisers considered this a dangerous feature, a menace to business, and had we 
been able to induce some outside newspaper man, even one with small capital, 


to come and buy it, the thing would have been successful. It was too near a 
co-operative enterprise to suit them so it was killed." 

Today Seattle has approximately one hundred regular publications great 
and small, serving almost every profession, trade, cult or creed, and many dif- 
ferent nationalities. Its two most prominent weeklies of general circulation 
are the Town Crier, published by James A. Wood and E. L. Reber, and The 
Argus, published and ably edited by H. A. Chadwick. Mr. ^^'ood is one of the 
most pungent and graceful writers in Seattle, and the Town Crier possesses an 
editorial .strength not surpassed by any other publication in the city. The Lum- 
berman, founded by C. A. Hughes, who still controls it, is one of the most 
meritorious and prominent monthlies. 

Among the men who have been identified with the newspaper history and 
life of Seattle, and who are now devoting their attention to other lines of en- 
deavor, are the following: 

Thomas W. Prosch, Clarence B. Bagley, Samuel L. Crawford, E. W. Pollock, 
C. T. Conover, Charles Pye Burnett, Will 11. Parry, E. B. Wishaar, Geo. U. 
Piper, Clark M. Nettleton, C. B. Yandell, Will T. Elwell, E. A. Williams, Frank 
M. Sullivan, A. T. McCargar, E. A. Batwell, A. F. Marion, W. M. Sheffield, 
Era.^tus Rrainerd, W. T. Prosser, Will A. Steel, Edmond S. Meany, Homer M. 
Hill, Judge R. Andrews, Stewart E. Smith. 



Who was the first white man to explore the defile in the Cascade Mountains 
known as Snoqualmie Pass, and what year did he make the first visit? This 
question is one which will perhaps remain forever unanswered. 

Any history of Seattle, to be complete, must give consideration to Snoqualmie 
Pass and the many movements initiated by the people of this city for the open- 
ing of roads through its dark forests, over its rushing water courses and between 
its rocky mountain clifl^s. The story of the development of this pass as a thor- 
oughfare between the east and west sides of the Cascade range is a Seattle 
story. From the time of the earliest settlement on Elliott Bay this has been the 
one pass through the mountains which Seattle people have been ready and will- 
ing to plead for, to fight for, and to spend money for at any and all times. 

Perhaps no other enterprise ever imdertaken by the people of this city has 
furnished so many disappointments as has the building of the Snoqualmie Pass 
wagon road. Summer after summer the fallen timber was removed from the 
road and winter after winter the winds threw other forest giants down to again 
render the way impassable. Many memorials were sent to Congress only to be 
filed away in the dead archives of that body. Then came the automobile, mod- 
ern engineering methods, and. above all, sufficient financial support, and the 
dream of the pioneer was realized in the magnificent thoroughfare now known 
as the Sunset Highway. This highway is a part of the "Red Trail" which 
stretches from Xew York to Seattle. 

Snoqualmie Pass was known to the Indians for ages before the first white 
man set foot on the western coast of America. Long before the liudson's Bay 
Company established its posts on Puget Sound the Indians were crossing through 
on their visits between the east and west sides of the range. The date of the 
first visit by white men is not known, although there appears to be a basis for 
the belief that the honor belongs to the Wilkes Expedition, which would place the 
date about the year 1841. 

The Hudson's Bay Company trappers and traders were roaming over the 
northwest during the early years of the last century and when one considers that 
no trail through the mountains, nor passage through the rivers and lakes was 
too wild or dangerous for these hardy frontiersmen to travel, it is only reason- 
able to suppose that they early made use of the pass in their trips from the 
posts on the Columbia and the Sound to those in the interior. 

In 1.S41 A. C. Anderson, of the Nisqually post of the F'uget Sound Agri- 
cultural Company, a subsidiary concern of the Htidson's Bay Company, crossed 
the mountains with a herd of cattle which had been driven from the Nez Perces 
country. Anderson says he crossed through the "Sinahomish Pass." Edward 
Huggins, one of the early pioneers of the Sound, gives it as his opinion that 



this was the Snoqiiahnie, an opinion easily accepted by later investigators be- 
cause of the fact that the Snoqualmic River empties into the Snohomish. The 
slight difference in spelling is easily accounted for as at that time there was no 
authentic way of spelling the Indian names given to the various localities and 
AiukTson spelled it to suit himself. 

Writing of this trip .Anderson says: ".After harvest in 1841 I set out with a 
party of men to receive a number of cattle transferred from the Hudson's Bay 
Company to the Puget Sound Agricultural Company from the posts of Nez 
Perces, Colville and Okanogan. We crossed the Cascade range over the north- 
west shoulder of Mount Rainier by the Sinahomish Pass. We followed the 
Indian trail, but expended a good deal of labor in parts to render it passable for 
our return." 

in i860 Samuel Hancock, an early pioneer of the Puget Sound country, wrote 
an account of a trip which he made to Snoqualmie P'alls in the late summer of 
1849. The trip was made by way of the Snohomish and Snoqualmie rivers in a 
canoe propelled by Indians. Mr. Hancock spent several days exploring the 
country near the falls, describing it ver>' accurately in his narrative. Speaking 
of the trail over the mountains he says: "I started across the prairie (above the 
falls) upon an apparently old Indian trail, and after walking about three miles 
over this extensive tract, came to a branch of the river I had ascended, and 
crossed on a fallen tree worn by the feet of the Indians; here we followed the 
trail out of a narrow bottom; coming to another extensive prairie. We contin- 
ued on the trail nearly across this, when I was satisfied that it was leading us 
into the mountains. The Indians told me this oahut, or road, was an old one 
tliat liad been traveled ever since the recollection of the oldest people as a thor- 
oughfare for the Indians east and west of the Cascade Mountains, when visiting 
each other, and that, if I desired going over into the Yakima country, wc could 
reach it in one and a half days' journey." 

The first printing press was brought into the Sound country in 1S52, set up 
.It Olympia, and the first newspaper, the Columbian, was established. Reference 
to its columns shows that the pass was used by various parties during the next 
few years. This is taken as evidence that its trails had been known to the set- 
tlers for years before the newspaper came. On October 9, 1852, the Columbian 
says that Dr. R. H. Lansdale, of Whidby Island, was reported as having just 
returned from a trip across the mountains. He went up the Snohomish River, 
Miutli. or Snoqualmie fork, to the great falls where he crossed to the south side 
and continued on to the base of the mountains along the south fork of the 
Duwanips ( Duwamish) or I'.lack River to the summit. Doctor Lansdale reported 
tiiat the trail had long been used by the Indians and was in good condition for 
(Kicking at that time. 

The early '50s witnessed the development of a growing interest in the 
Pacific Northwest country. Thousands of people were leaving their eastern 
homes and crossing the plains to Oregon, of which territory Puget Sound at that 
time formed a part and received a share of the immigrants. The eastern press 
was discussing the building of the Pacific railway; and Northern Oregon was 
asking to be separated from the southern part and allowed to have its own 
territorial government under the name of Columbia. 

Early in 1853 Congress divided Oregon Territory and provided for a tcrri- 


torial government for the northern part under the name of Washington Terri- 
tory with the capital at Olympia. Isaac I. Stevens was, on March 17, 1S53, 
appointed governor and at the same time placed in charge of the stupendous task 
of exploring a route for a line of railroad from the Mississippi River to the 
Pacific Ocean. 

Capt. (later Gen.) George B. McClellan was assigned to Governor Stevens' 
corps of army engineers and was, in turn, assigned by the governor to the work 
of exploring the passes of the Cascade Mountains. The record of McClellan's 
work is somewhat conflicting — some writers stating that he did nothing except 
follow a trail which the early pioneers had opened part way up from Steilacoom 
toward Nisqually Pass; over which he crossed to join Governor Stevens in East- 
ern Washington. Other writers give him credit for having explored many of 
the passes through the Cascades. Regardless of the work done by McClellan, 
it is known that under Governor Stevens' direction Snoqualmie Pass was 
explored ; for, in his report to the Government, he pronounced it the most suitable 
for the proposed railroad, he having found it 1,000 feet lower than any other 
visited. Captain McClellan, in his report on the railroad survey, expressed him- 
self as favoring the route down the Columbia River to the Cowlitz and then up 
that stream to the Sound, stating that, in his opinion, the snow in the pass was 
certain to cause trouble. 

This report did not meet with the approval of Governor Stevens, who in the 
winter of 1854 dispatched A. L. Tinkham to the pass with instructions to make 
a study of conditions as he found them at that time. Mr. Tinkham came through 
the pass on January 21st and found by measurement that there was seven feet 
of snow on the summit at that time. He reported that the pass had been used by 
the Indians and Hudson's Bay people for years. As Tinkham's party or. this 
trip consisted of five Yakima Indians he, no doubt, was correct in his state- 
ment regarding the use of the route by them and by the Hudson's Bay Company. 

In 1852 C. D. Boren, W. N. Bell, A. A. Denny and D. T. Denny filed the 
first claims on the land now occupied by much of the business section of Seattle. 
Since that time Snoqualmie Pass has had a friend at court. ]\Ir. Tinkham's 
report aroused the interest of the people of the new town, who at once seemed 
to realize the importance of the pass to them. An expedition was organized in 
1855 and Judge Lander, Dexter Horton, F. Matthias, Charles Plummer, C. D. 
Boren, A. F. Bryant, J. H. Nagle, Charles Walker, Doctor Bigelow and others 
made the trip to the summit. They went by way of Rattlesnake Prairie which 
was given this name by one of the party. 

The Indian uprising which threatened to wipe out the settlements during the 
years 1855-56 put an end to any further efforts to open the pass until the sum- 
mer of 1859 when the subject was again taken up and a mass meeting called for 
August 20th. Capt. A. C. Rand was chosen chairman of this meeting, and J. W. 
Johnson, secretary. Addresses were made by Maynard, Yesler, Kellogg, Denny 
and others and a committee composed of Yesler, Maynard, Franklin Matthias and 
A. A. Denny was appointed to solicit funds to be used in opening a road through 
the pass. That Seattle appreciated the importance of the project is shown by the 
fact that $1,050 was subscribed at this meeting. 

T. D. Hinckley was appointed superintendent and the first organized move- 
ment for the opening of the road was tmder way. It was a very enthusiastic 


meeting and before it closed many signatures were obtained to a petition to the 
Legislature requesting that body to memorialize Congress to make an appropriation 
sutticient to cover the cost of opening a wagon road over the pass. Superintendent 
llincivley and his force of road builders commenced work at Ranger's Prairie 
and the coming of winter saw the road sun'cyed to the east side of the pass. 
Many logs and trees were removed from the right of way and some grading was 

Placer miners, bound for the Yakima. W'enatchee and Colville districts 
packed their supplies over the trail during the summer of 185S. Gold had been 
discovered in the streams flowing down the eastern slopes of the Cascades and 
almost every gap in the range was used by the miners from the Sound country. 
Some fair sized pack trains passed over the Snoqualmie route that summer, 
miners reporting the trail in good condition, a good horse or mule being able 
to carry up to two hundred and fifty pounds of freight with ease. 

The Territorial Legislature, in the winter of 1859, carried out the request of 
the Seattle mass meeting of August 20th, by sending the following memorial 
to Congress : 

"Your memorialists, the Legislative Assembly of Washington Territory. 
would respectfully represent that there has been a good pass discovered through 
the Cascade Mountains, known as the Snoqualmie Pass, and said pass is of much 
less elevation than the Xatchess Pass ; that the citizens of Seattle and vicinity 
ha\e spent a large amount of money and labor in opening a road through said 
pass from Seattle to the open country east of the Cascade Mountains; that said 
road is the shortest and most practicable route froin Seattle to the open country 
east of the Cascade Mountains ; that the large and fertile scope of the country 
cast of the mountains is being fast settled up, promising soon to become the 
most densely jjopulated portion of our territory; that at present, owing to the 
obstructions in the Columbia River and said road not being thoroughly com- 
])lcted, the travel and commerce to and from said portion of the country labors 
under very many disadvantages. A good wagon road on or near the present road 
would be a great convenience to the citizens of this territory and saving to the 
military in transporting men and supplies. Therefore, your memorialists would 
rcsi)ectfully pray your honorable bodies to pass an act appropriating a sufficient 
sum of money to build a wagon road from .Seattle on Puget Sound via Snoqual- 
mie Pass to Fort Colville." Passed December 14, 1859. 

Congress read the memorial and during the session of 1860-61 there was 
introduced in the House of Representatives a bill appropriating the sum of 
$75,000 for the construction of a military road from Walla Walla to Seattle, 
via the Snoqualmie Pass. The Civil war was giving Uncle Sam other things 
to think about and the bill never reached the Senate. 

While the North and the South were settling their family quarrel in the 
early '60s, Seattle was doing her best to lift herself out of the mud by her own 
boot straps. The Seattle Gazette was founded during this time and almost 
from its first issue took up the fight for the road over the mountains. In the 
i-suc of the Gazette for .August 27, 1864, the editor made a strong appeal for 
ilie road, stating that the immigrant wagons, reaching the Columbia River after 
their long trip across the plains, went down that stream because they could not 


get over the mountains to the Puget Sound country. The result was that 
Oregon was rapidly settHng up while Washington was not. 

The Gazette continued its campaign throughout the winter and on July 22, 
1865, another meeting was held in Seattle for the purpose of again taking up 
the work. This meeting selected John Denny, H. L. Yesler and J. E. Clark as 
a committee to solicit funds in King and neighboring counties. As local jealousies 
had developed between the different settlements, it was decided to apply these 
funds toward opening the road from Ranger's Prairie to the Yakima \'alley; 
allowing the different communities to build their own connecting roads — the 
main object being to improve that part of the road through the pass, a section 
about twenty-five miles in length. 

Within a few days after the meeting, A. A. Denny, L. V. Wyckoft, John Ross 
and William Perkins started for the mountains for the purpose of exploring 
Snoqualmie, Cedar River and Natchess passes with a view of determining which 
of the three ottered the best route for the proposed road. The party of explorers 
returned after an absence of two weeks and reported fa\X)rably for the Snoqual- 
mie. During their absence the citizens had been busy raising funds, and had 
succeeded in collecting $2,500 with which to commence work. William Per- 
kins was awarded the contract for constructing the road and left Seattle imme- 
diately with a force of twenty men. Camp was established at Ranger's Prairie 
and the road building was pushed along rapidly, some days as much as one mile 
of the route being opened. While the resultant road was far from being one of 
easy grades, it was so much better than the trail which it replaced that the 
Seattle people again took hope in the project. This hope was further increased 
when, in October, a train of six wagons came through the pass over the new 
road. Early in November, Perkins and his men returned to the settlement. 
They had opened about twenty-five miles of road and estimated that $goo.oo 
more would complete the eastern end. 

Seattle had, so far, depended largely upon her own initiative in the matter. 
Her own money had been used in the attempts to open the road, and while these 
attempts had been fairly successful, still the road was far from being what it 
should be. At Lake Keechelus wagons had to be loaded on a log raft and 
poled across the waters of the lake ; many stumps were in the road and wagon 
wheels came to grief if they departed from the track laid out by those which had 
gone before. The high winds threw many trees across the road while the winter 
snows produced spring freshets which washed out the bridges and tore away the 
grades. Seattle road boosters realized that they had undertaken a big job, so 
they decided to make a very strong appeal to the Legislature for assistance. 
The result of this appeal was that Levi Farnsworth was appointed as commis- 
sioner with instructions to explore both the Snoqualmie and Xatchess passes. 

King County put a crew in the field at once and the road was surveyed, the 
minutes of the meeting of the county commissioners for May 15, 1866, showing 
the following: 

"That the report of E. Richardson, P. H. Lewis and Jerry Borst, for costs in 
surveying a route for a wagon road from the Black River bridge to Snoqualmie 
Pass be accepted and orders drawn on the county treasury for the following 
amounts: H. L. Yesler, $24.50; H. Harper, $6.00; George Smith, $38.00; D. 

HISTORY OF SEAT! 1. 1". 213 

llonon, $6.25; C. C. Terry, $17.00; R. W. Beatty, $30.00; J. W. Borst, $44.37; 
P. H. Lewis, $88.00; E. Richardson, $145.50. 

"Ordered that the county road from Black Ri\er l)ridjje to Ranger's I'rairie 
be extended through the Snoquahiiie Pass to the limits of King County. 

"Ordered, that in case the commissioner, appointed by the Legislature at its 
last session, selects the Snoqualniie Pass as the most practical route for a wagon 
road across the Cascade Mountains that the county auditor be empowered to issue 
$2,000 to be appropriated to the construction of said road. Said appropriation to 
be subjected to the approval of the majority of the people voting on the cjuestion 
at the next regular election held June 4, 1866." 

The people voted for the road, 119 for to 4 against; Commissioner I'"arn.s- 
worth came up from \'ancouver and went over tiic ."^noiiualmie route early in the 
summer. At that time he could not get through the Natchess Pass on account of 
the snow, so he returned to his home and wrote to John Denny, closing his let- 
ter with the following words: "I would advise you, however, to go on and 
raise the funds and commence operations and put the road through without 
delay, but do not think that you will derive much benefit from Pierce County; 
this, however, you will keep private, as I do not wish to throw cold water on 
their enterprise." Later, the snow having melted on the Natchess Pass, Farns- 
worth visited it, and, greatly to the surprise of Seattle people, reported on August 
2ist "that after an impartial examination of the two passess * * * [ find 
the Natchess the most practicable." Farnsworth was accused of "playing politics" 
in the matter, but Seattle, while greatly disappointed, did not give up the fight 
for the road. On November 12th the county commissioners ordered that "an 
appropriation of $2,500 be made for the completion of the road." 

The Legislature in January, 1867, passed a bill appropriating $2,000 for the 
road, conditional uj)on King County raising a like amount, .\nother mass meet- 
ing was called and John Denny, H. L. Yesler, John J. McGilvra and E. C. I"'er- 
guson were appointed to solicit funds. The money was secured in this and other 
counties, the work was commenced and carried on with so much speed that the 
road was ready for use in September when two men, Parsons and Fish, came over 
from Umatilla, making the trip in four days. A few days later Judge Wyche and 
the clerk of his court came over the pass on their way from Walla Walla to Port 
Townsend where court was held. On his way through the pass Judge Wyche 
met the surveyors of the Northern Pacific Railroad and upon his arrival in 
Seattle told a reporter for the Intelligencer that it was his opinion "that a i)rac- 
ticablc railroad way may be found across the mountains. '■• * * The judge 
entertains the opinion that no serious obstacles exist to impede the cxjnstructioii 
of the wagon road now being built from this place to the Columbia River \ia the 
.Snoqualmie Pass and assures us that the people east of the mountains feel a deep 
interest in the success of both of these enterprises." The wagon road was fin- 
ished in October. 

That the road was now attracting attention from all over the territory is 
shown by the fact that Gov. Marshal F. Moore, in his message to the 1867-68 
session of the Legislature, referred to it in the following language : "At the 
last session of the Legislative Assembly the sum of $2,000 was appropriated 
towards opening a wagon road from the Pdack River bridge, in King County by 
way of Snoqualniie Pass to the Yakima \'allcy. This, with a like sum raised by 


the people of King County, has been expended and a portion of the road cut out. 
What additional sum is needed to complete the work I am not informed. It is 
important, nay, almost indispensable, that one direct available wagon road con- 
nect by one of the passes of the Cascades, the two great divisions of the territory." 

On January 15, 1868, the Legislature made an appropriation of $2,500 for 
continuing the work on the road. This was good news to Seattle, but in March 
came the even better news that the chief engineer of the Northern Pacific had 
decided in favor of the Snoqualmie Pass route for the new railroad and also that 
Seattle was to be the western terminus of the line. J. R. Borst was placed in 
charge of the road work and during the summer of 1868 $1,400 of the $2,500 
appropriation was used by him in construction work and repairs to the road bed 
in the pass, the remaining $1,100 being reserved by the commissioners for the 
purpose of building bridges between Seattle and Snociualmie Prairie. After this 
work was finished the road became quite popular and was used by people travel- 
ing in both directions. In the early fall, Governor Moore made a trip over the 
road, which was then in good condition. 

The Intelligencer for March i, 1869, says: "On Thursday last Capt. W. H. 
Freeman, accompanied by Mr. N. R. Parsons (who is well known to our citizens 
as the gentleman who strenuously exerted himself to establish an express line 
between here and Umatilla), arrived in town, having crossed the Snoqualmie 
Pass on their way here." The trip was made at the request of General Cook for 
the purpose of reviewing the line of the Northern Pacific from Boise City to 
Seattle. Freeman and Parsons found snow in the pass, the depth ranging from 
i^ to ^yi feet. About this time some Seattle people became a little suspicious 
of the Northern Pacific. Every town on the Sound entertained hopes of being 
selected as the terminal point and Seattle's position was threatened. 

Travel over the road commenced very early this year, several parties having 
made the trip from the east side by the first of June. During the latter part of 
May, Rice Tilly drove sixty-two head of beef cattle through the pass from the 
Yakima \'alley and from this time on for several years the road was used for this 
purpose, thousands of cattle and sheep being driven from the bunch grass of the 
Kittitass and Yakima valleys to the market in this city. The road was in such 
good condition, during the summer of 1869, that a movement was started in this 
city for the establishment of a Government mail line through the pass via Umatilla 
and Eastern Oregon points to Indian Creek on the line of the Union Pacific in the 
present State of Idaho. 

This, however, was of short life for the fall rains that year were very heavy 
and the temporary bridges were washed away, trees fell across the road and it 
was soon rendered impassable. Edwin Richardson, who came over the road in 
October, in an interview in the Intelligencer said that there were about seventy 
miles of road between Seattle and L'matilla which had cost the people some three 
hundred dollars per mile, but that owing to poor location and flimsy construction 
they did not have a road that was passable. He criticised the authorities severely, 
saying that in some places settlers who were favorites of the commissioners had 
been permitted to fence across the road in places. 

Richardson's report as to the condition of the road was followed by the organ- 
ization of the first private enterprise for the building of a corporation owned toll 
road. In the fall of 1869 Daniel Bagley, G. F. Whitworth, A. N. Merrick, H. A. 


Atkins, W. A. Shoiuly and C. P. Stone incorporated The Pugct Sound \Va<,'on 
Road Company, capitalized at $100,000. The object of the company was to huilil 
a toll road from Seattle to White Bluff on the Columbia River, but the people 
were not ready to finance such an enterprise and nothing was done toward build- 
ing the road. 

The next spring the county commissioners found they had but $590.83 remain- 
ing in the Snoqualmie Pass road fund and that at least $1,000 more would be 
required for repairs and new work during the summer. During one of the previ- 
ous efforts to open the road, the commissioners had borrowed some money from 
the university fund. This money was now due, so on May yth, they ordered 
that the road funds then in the hands of the county treasurer be applied toward 
"liquidating the in<lebtedness held by the university." They also ordered the 
auditor to "issue an order payable to J. P. Adams, to be used in opening and keep- 
ing in repair the Snoqualmie road." King County was fighting for her pass 
through the hills and was willing to take a chance. Commissioner Yesler went 
out on the road with a gang of workmen and the $1,000 was so well spent that 
immigrant wagon trains were coming through cverj' few days during the latter 
part of the summer. 

These were the palmy days of the cattle driving industry. In October, M. S. 
Booth, of the Seattle Market, arrived with 130 head of fine fat beef cattle which 
he had driven through the pass. Mr. Booth reported that his linn had made 
other ])urchases of cattle and sheep in the Yakima \'alley and that these animals 
would be brought over the mountains for slaughter in Seattle — the finished pack- 
ing house product being shipped by steamer to nearly every settlement on the 
Sound as well as to British Columbia points. The packing house industry of 
Seattle owes its beginning to this firm which early demonstrated the feasibility 
of bringing live stock through the pass on its own feet. As a result of this the 
live stock industry grew rapidly in the Yakima \'alley and many citizens were 
added to its thriving settlements. 

Passing Lake Keechelus in October. Mr. Booth found a party of immigrants 
with three wagons. The horses had played out, se\eral members of the jjiirty 
were sick and Mr. Booth, upon his arrival in Seattle, gave it as his opinion that 
the party must be gfiven assistance if it was to get through the ])ass before the 
winter r.'iins set in and made the roads impassable. .Seattle came to the rescue. 
A subscrijnion paper was started, $100 was raised and a man with a yoke of oxen 
was sent over the pass to the assistance of the stranded party wliicJi, a little later. 
was reported to have reached Squak (Issaquah) in safety. 

Throughout the. winter of 1S70-71 F. M. Thorpe, of \';d<ima County, main- 
tained an express service from the east side to Snoqualmie Prairie and in the 
spring wrote the Intelligencer that he had been able to make tri])s every two 
weeks during the winter months. Mr. Thorpe thus demonstrated the feasibility 
of an all year service and now proposed to inaugurate a regular weekly service 
over the road jjrovided the jieople of Seattle would contribute at least $20 per 
month toward the support of the express line. 

The Xorthern Pacific had kept two men in tiie pass from December 19, 1870, 
to .April 21, 1871, these men taking observations of the weather every six hours. 
The observers found that the tenijjcrature ranged from 3° to 59° above zero; 
that the greatest snowfall amounted to 17 inches and the greatest depth iiad been 


on January 16, when it measured 17 feet and 3 inches. There had been no slides 
during the winter and when the men left camp on April 21st there was 13 feet 
of snow at the summit. However there was none at all ten miles this side. 

That the railroad had not given up the Snoqualmie Pass line was shown when 
in July, 1871, J. R. Maxwell and a party of surveyors arrived in Seattle and 
started at once over the trail to the hills. At the time they would say nothing 
about the object of their trip, but a little later it developed that they were sur- 
veying for a tunnel under the pass. .\ later report from the sur\eyors showed 
they had found this practicable; a tunnel one mile in length, it was said, would 
greatly reduce the grades and would shorten the line some six miles. 

In all the many efforts which Seattle people had put forth for the opening of 
the road, one of the big arguments used was that of pro\ idnig a freight route 
10 the eastern side. Merchants, seeing the possibilities of the extension of their 
trade territory, had contributed liberally to each of these efforts and had hoped 
to see the day when they would supply many wagon trains of goods which would 
be consumed in the Yakima and Kittitas valleys. This hope was to be realized, 
for in October, 1871, John Shoudy and \\ illiam I'awcett arrived in Seattle from 
Kittitas Valley with two wagons which they loaded with goods for the store at 
Wilson Creek. Mr. Shoudy was the founder of the Town of EUensburg, in fact 
that prosperous Kittitas \'alley town was named in honor of his wife, Ellen 
Stewart Shoudy, and it was to his store at this point that the goods were taken, 
and the road became more than an immigrant and pack trail. 

When the county commissioners met in the fall of 1S71 they found county 
road bonds must be paid just the same as other obligations. The Snoqualmie 
Pass wagon road was in debt, and the debt, which was drawing interest at the 
rate of 1^/2 per cent per month, cotild not be paid except by floating another loan. 
An appeal was made to the Legislature and that body, on November 20th, passed 
an act authorizing the county to borrow not to exceed $12,000 at not to exceed 
1 1/2 per cent per month for the jjurpose of paying off the debt. The act made it 
obligatory upon the commissioners to each spring set aside not less than 10 nor 
more than 25 per cent of all moneys received from licenses and fines for the 
purpose of securing said debt and interest thereon. 

The rapidly spreading settlements of the Kittitas and Yakima valleys 
encouraged the Legislature to make another effort to get Congress to do some- 
thing toward establishing a mail route through the pass, and in November. 1873, 
another memorial was sent to Washington. In this memorial it was pointed out 
that the valleys were being settled and that many of these settlers were without 
mail service. The Legislature asked "that a mail route may be established from 
Seattle, in King County, via the Snoqualmie Pass, to EUensburg, thence to Yakima 
City, thence to Smith Burnham's, at the mouth of the Yakima River, and thence 
to Wallula, on the Columbia," and that a semi-weekly mail service be immediately 
inaugurated. Congress filed the memorial. 

Seattle by this time had found out that the Northern Pacific, after flirting 

with her for some years, had transferred its aiifections to Tacoma and that the 

town on Commencement Bay was to be the western terminus of the line No 

.sooner had the news been received than the people here literally rolled up their 

sleeves and started to build their own railroad across the mountains — and, of 

HISTORY Ol- SlCAlTl.l". :il7 

course, the Snuqiialinie was tlie tiiic pass in the luouniaiiis llirougli whicli a 
Seattle built road could reach the \alleys on the eastern side. 

As the Xorihern I'acilic ha<l recei\ed a lar^e land grant for its line, Seattle 
railroad builders lhoU{,du Congress should treat their line with equal considera- 
tion, so to the Legislature they went, and asked that another memorial be sent 
to Wasiiiiigton. .Memorials were chea]), King County had many voters and the 
Legislature asked Congress to give the new railroad a free right of way over the 
public domain "together with suitable depot grounds, ;ind also such additional 
lands to aid in the construction of said road, as your honorable bodies may deem 
pro])er."' This same Legislature, that of 1S73-74, i)assed an act authorizing King, 
\ akima and W alia W alia or any other county, to hold elections and vote to aid 
in the construction of the road in anv way they saw tit, l)Ut Congress did not 
give the road even so much as a free right of way. 

.\. .\. Uenny and John J. .McCiivra, officers of the Seattle ^K: Walla W .ill.i 
Railroad & Transportation (.'oniijany. wciu to Walla Walla ami uiIkt towns on 
the east side where railroad meetings were held and where considerable interest 
was developed. The road ne\er reached the ])ass, but it did reach the coal mines 
and was a big factor in the development of that industry. Later, as the Columbia 
& F^uget Sound it furmshed a valuable entrance to the city for the line of the 
Chicago. Milwaukee & St. I'aul which did build through the jxiss and made the 
dream of the ])ioneer come true. 

I he jianic of 1S73, like the Civil war, came at a time when the friends of 
I lie ]i.iss had great hopes of realizing their dream for a great ])ermanent highway 
tlirougli its rugged gorges. The panic ila>liecl this hope to the ground: so the 
jjcoijle of Seattle did nothing further toward develo])mem than to cut out some 
of the logs which aniuially tumbled across the road, until in 1S75 some one, 
probably 11. L. Yesler. conceived a |>lan which resulted in w riling into the history 
<if the road a chajjter which is uni(|ue in the annals of highway building. 

Seattle realized that her ])ass was of much greater interest to her own peo])le 
ihaii it was to her neighbors, but the Legislature bad always been willing to gi\e 
assistance, ])rovided that assistance did not cost any money, so this latest scheme 
was taken to the territorial law making body. That body did not disa])])oint 
and on November 1 _>, 1875, passed an act section one of which pnnides: "That 
any i)erson residing in this territory, who is desirous of .liding in the construction 
of a wagon road across the Cascade Mountains, shall have the right to disjiose of 
any of his property, real and personal, situate in this territory, by lot or dis- 
tribution, under such restrictions and conditions as are provided in this act." 
Seattle had tried to induce Congress to builil the road but b.ul failed; King 
County had .spent much money, the peo])le had contributed, only a jioor trail was 
to show for all this efi'ort, but now the peojile were to hold a lottery and gamiile 
fur a rr>ad. 

The act |>rn\idc(l that ten |)cr cent of the net proceeds from any lottery so 
held should be turned over to trustees appointed by the commissioners of King 
County, the trustees in turn paying the money into the county treasury. .\11 
money derived from sucii lotteries was to be used in the construction of a wagon 
n>ad from .Snoc|u;ilmie IV.iirie. in King County to near the south end of Lake 
Keechelus in Yakima County. The law was explicit as to the manner of con- 
•lucting the lotteries, and insured fair treatment for the public. 


Lottery companies were organized in Seattle at once, among them being that 
of H. L. Yesler and his associates who contracted for large space in the news- 
papers and commenced advertising the "First Grand Lottery of Washington 
Territory." Thousands of circulars were printed and these together with 
tickets were sent into every settlement in the country. One of the advertise- 
ments published at the time, will give a fair understanding of the plan. It con- 
tained the following words : 

"A Grand Distribution. A chance to win $100,000 for the small sum of 
$5.00. Washington Territorial Lotter}-, legalized by an act of the Legislature in 
aid of a great road from the City of Seattle, through the Cascade Mountains, via 
Snoqualmie Pass to Walla Walla ; approved by his Excellency, Governor Ferry, 
November 12, 1S75. 

"Three hundred thousand dollars' worth of real estate in the City of Seattle, 
and in cash, to be distributed. Draws July 4, 1876. Sixty thousand tickets 
and 5,57s prizes. Tickets $5.00 coin each or eleven for $50.00. Grand prize, 
Yesler's steam saw mill and mill property in the City of Seattle, valued at 
$100,000. (The rents from the mill and mill property equal $700 per month.) 
Some of the most eligible and best business lots in the City of Seattle will be 
distributed, including Hovey & Barker's corner, on Mill and Commercial streets, 
and the Pacific Brewery property. The prizes to be drawn and distributed will 
be as follows : 

"First Prize — The steam saw mill and mill property, valued at $100,000. 

"Second Prize — Hovey & Barker's corner, $14,000. 

"Third Prize — Pacific Brewery property, $5,000. 

"Together with i,on lots in various parts of the City of Seattle and addi- 
tions thereto, valued from fifty dollars to fifteen hundred dollars each; also 
sixty-one prizes in farming lands in King County, and $25,000 in gold divided 
into 4,000 prizes of $5.00 each, and 500 prizes of $10.00 each. Xo scheme of 
this kind ever offered to the public presented such great inducements to try 
for a fortune. The general public can invest with the greatest confidence, the 
distribution being authorized by law and guarded in every particular. Nothing 
of the kind can be fairer for all concerned." 

Another lottery, The Gold Coin, advertised to hold its drawing on April 3, 
1876, at which time it would distribute 800 prizes amounting to $20,000, the 
first prize being $10,000 in cash. B. Conkelman, one of the pioneers who had 
come across the Isthmus of Panama in the early '60s, was manager of this 
lottery. About half its tickets were sold, the prizes being reduced accordingly, 
and when the drawing was held it resulted in much dissatisfaction and some bad 

Trouble soon loomed large upon the horizon of the lottery promoters. Their 
enterprises were taken into the courts and before the "grand distribution" sched- 
uled for July 4th could be held, the whole scheme was declared illegal. Some- 
thing went wrong with the scheme which had been advertised as being so fair 
and while King County received a little money from the trustees appointed by 
the commissioners, the records indicate there might have been some actions 
which were not so fair as advertised. It was found necessary to take the matter 
to the Legislature, which in November. 1877. authorized the commissioners of 
King County to appropriate all moneys received under the lottery act to the 


construction of the wagon road through the Snoquahnie I'ass. Section three 
uf this act provides that where any person refused to pay any money received 
under such act (the lottery act) into the county treasury, it shall be the duty 
of the prosecuting attorney of the district in which such person resides to bring 
suit for the recovery of such money. The aflfair was soon forgotten and if 
there were any dark spots in the history they were covered up and allowed to 
liide themselves from sight. 

The lotteries had failed to build ilic road hut the- Legislature in 1879 again 
memorialized Congress asking that the Seattle & Walla Walla Railroad & Trans- 
])ortation Company be given a grant of every alternate section of land for ten 
miles on each side of its line. The Northern Pacitic had not completed its line 
at this time and Seattle, a little sore over being denied the western tcnninal of 
that road, felt, jjerhaps, that she could embarrass it by obtaining a grant for her 
own road. Congress sent the memorial to keep company with those it had pre- 
viously received relating to the same subject and then the Legislature asked that 
the Federal Government make an appropriation of $75,000 for the building of a 
military road through the pass. 

Congress was still deaf to the entreaties of the Legislature and the second 
])rivate enterprise was launched through the organization of the Seattle & Walla 
Walla Trail & Wagon Road Company. This company, organized October, 
1&S3, with a capital of $100,000 in shares of $10.00 each, was more successful 
than its predecessor and for some years was able to keep the road open and 
in fair condition. The main office of the company was located at Ellensburg. 
Walter A. Bull was president and George H. Smith secretary. 

With the completion of the Cascade division of the Xorthem Pacific Rail- 
way in 1S83, the great problem of establishing communication between the 
-Sound and the valleys east of the mountains was solved, and the Snoquahnie Pass 
road became a matter of minor importance. Li fact it was almost forgotten by 
the great majority of people until Seattle commenced to plan for the Alaska- 
^ukon-Pacific Exposition. By this time the automobile had become a factor in 
transcontinental travel. The first New York to Seattle automobile race was to 
be rim in 1909 and again Seattle people, turning their eyes toward the Cascade 
range standing as the one big obstacle in the way of that race, rediscovered the 
importance of the Snoqualmic Pass. 

The winter winds had blocked the old road with many logs and the spring 
freshets had washed out the old grades and bridges, but a road must be made 
and made quickly. Seattle again dreamed the dream of the '50s, only in the 
modern dream it was an automobile highway that was desired, not an ox cart 
road. An appeal was made to Kittitas county for assistance and the com- 
missioners of the two counties provided sufficient money with which to open 
ilie road so that about one hundred and fifty cars were able to come through the 
pass to the fair in 1909. These cars passing through the gap in the hills were 
sufficient argimient to arouse the people of the state to the possibilities presented 
by the route and a campaign, having for its object the building of a first class 
highway, was launched. 

The old road of the pioneers was, in many places, abandoned, the machin- 
erj- of the state govemment was set in motion, a new route was surveyed, hun- 


dreds of thousands of dollars were ajipropriatcd. contracts were awarded and 
the road was pushed over the summit. 

With plenty of money and the best engineering skill at the command of the 
state highway department, things moved on the road ; moved so rapidly in fact 
that on July i, 1915, Governor Ernest Lister formally dedicated the new high- 
way The governor made the trip to the summit, not as Governor Moore did 
in that long ago, on the back of a horse, but seated in a high powered auto- 
mobile capable of making the trip in about as many hours as Governor Moore's 
iiorse required days. 

Jt was a great day for Seattle. After more than sixty years of effort upon 
the part of her citizens, the road was open. The Seattle .Automobile Club had 
charge of the celebration at the summit of the pass, 3,006 feet above the city, 
which, from its earliest days had pleaded, begged, schemed, gambled and fought 
for the completion of a wagon road to Walla Walla but now had obtained an 
automobile highway stretching away to the distant Atlantic coast. 

".\11 thijigs come to him who waits — and hustles." Seattle has done her fair 
share of both for the Snoqualmie road. Her people have felt that nature 
intended this pass and Elliott Bay to belong to each other, to each contribute to 
the success of the city which in time should be built where the trail meets the 
.';.'.il. Perha])s her people have, at times, allowed this feeling of proprietorshiji 
to become so strong as to defeat the end for which they worked; but they had 
the ])ass, and today they may ride through its beautiful scenery seated in a 
Milwaukee palace car or in a palace car propelled by its own gasolene engine. 
It is Seattle's pass and her people are proud of its highway, of its railway, of its 
ijeautiful scenery, but above all they should be proud of the fact that these 
things stand as a monument to their city's power of achievement. 



The manufacturing of lumber and lumber products has Ijecn the leading 
imlustry of Western Washington almost from the time the first American 

ilony was established on the shores of Pugcl Sound by Col. Michael T. 
>immons and party in 1845. This colony was planted on the banks of the 
l)^.•^clu1ttes River near the present City of 01ym])ia and was named New Market. 
Taking two of the large granite boulders found lying on the ground, the settlers 
made them into burrs and around them built the first grist mill erected north 
of the Columbia River. This was in 1846, and the mill ground tiie first Hour 
manufactured in the I'ugcl Sound region. The following year it was decided 
to build a new mill on the north bank of the river at the upper falls. The 
Hudson's Bay Company had the iron work of an old-fashioned ujiright mill 
which it had operated for a short time at Cowlitz Prairie over towards the 
Columbia River. This was purchased for $300, to be paid in lumber, and the 
first sawmill on I'ugct l^ound was built at the upper falls of the Deschuttcs. 
The company formed for the jiurpose of building this mill was known as the 
I'uget Sound Milling C()ni])any and was composed of M. T. .Simmons, Edmund 
Svlvcster, Antonio 1'.. Rabbeson, B. F. Shaw, Jesse Ferguson, C.abriel Jones. 
lull!) R. Kindred and A. 1). Carnetix. with Simmons, who was the largest 
'"ckholder. as superintendent. 

"Tony" Rabbeson was the first sawyer and it was a great day for the liitK- 

itlement when the first log started on its way toward the upright saw and the 
nrst sawed board ever produced from a Puget Sound forest giant fell away from 
the log. This primitive mill had a ca|)acity of but 100 feet per hour, but it 
attracted a great deal more attention in those days than would be bestowed upon 
any of the large modern lumber manufacturing plants. 

The pioneer com])any operated the mill for two years and then suU it to 
' ipt. Clanrick Crosby, who came to the Sound from California, where he had 
made some money. The i)rice paid for the property, which included the grist 
mill, was S33.OCXJ. l-"rom his part of this money Colonel Simmons built a 

■ re, brought a stock of merchandise from San Francisco and the Hudson's 
r.ay (. om])any awoke to the fact that it had comijetition in the mercantile line. 

In 1S51 lames .Mc.Mlistcr and a Mr. Wells commenced building a water 
mill on Mc.Mlister Creek near tlie ninulli of the Nisqually River, and it was 
from this mill that the first sawed lumlier was exported from Puget Sound to 
San I->ancisco in 1852. The McAllister saw was of the ujiriglit tyjic. Other 
Muall mills were liuilt on the shores of the bays at the head of the Sound, but as 
;dl lumber was shipped on sailing vessels, which found it an ex|)ensive and 
difficult task to get into these narrow water passages, the lumber industry was 
-oon transferred to Seattle and the bays across and down the Sound. 



These early mills found a good market for their lumber. The demand was 
greater than the supply and the prices were such as to make the business 
profitable. The Hudson's Bay Company not only received the $300 worth of 
lumber for which it had sold to Simmons and his associates the mill irons, but 
much more; the original Hudson's Bay Company's records showing ,.that it paid 
the mill company, in 1849, for 35.730 feet at S16.00 per 1,000 feet, followed by 
$20.00 per 1,000 for 67,000 feet. The price then went down to $14.00, and the 
Hudson's Bay people used a great deal more of the lumber, not only at the 
Nisqually post, but also at its posts further north. Much of this lumber was 
transported to these northern posts on board the Beaver, the first steamboat 
to operate in the waters of P\iget Sound. The United States military post at 
Fort Steilacoom was also a purchaser at these early mills. 

Seattle owes more to the lumbering industry than to any other one factor 
contributing to its establishment, growth and present day commercial import- 
ance. When Denny, Boren and Bell set out from the Alki settlement in 1852, 
on the canoe trip which resulted in the founding of this city, they went in search 
of piling for the San Francisco market. California streams were yielding the 
richest harvest of gold ever gathered, up to that time, and San Francisco was 
building very rapidly. Lumber and piling were in great demand and the settle- 
ments of Puget Sound, in filling this demand, were obtaining their groceries 
and clothing in an indirect way from the California gold fields. The piling 
around the Alki settlement had been cut and sent toi the South and it was for 
the purpose of finding another source of supply that the pioneers explored the 
shore of Elliott Bay. They found the object of their search on the eastern 
shore, and Seattle may truthfully be said to have been built on piling. The 
bay oftered ideal conditions for conducting the business. Good anchorage was 
found all over the harbor, long mud flats with much shallow water did not exist 
here and ships could be loaded without the necessity of constructing long wharves. 
The timber on the shore was of the best, offering thousands of piles and number- 
less large trees from which square timbers could be cut. Claims were taken 
with the idea of establishing timber camps, for w'hile these pioneers were men of 
foresight and felt that a city would some day be built on their claims, it was 
present needs which they wished to supply — and piling and timbers offered the 
means of supplying such needs. 

The first summer, that of 1852, was spent in furnishing piling and timbers 
to the vessels which came into the harbor, and in building log cabins. Among 
the vessels which were loaded here that season were the brigs Franklin Adams, 
Capt. L. M. Felker, and John Davis, Capt. George Plummer, both of which 
paid several visits to the harbor. 

The first log cabins had hardly been completed when Henry L. Yesler 
arrived from California looking for a site for a sawmill. Previous to this time 
water had furnished the only power used in the Puget Sound sawmills, but Yesler 
was looking for a site for a steam plant and decided to locate on the point 
where West Seattle is now built. Even short distances were of great import- 
ance then and the Seattle pioneers wanted that sawmill in their own settlement 
and not across the bay where a rival town would probably be built. As the lines 
of the first claims had been rearranged to allow Doctor Maynard a place at the 
south end of the settlement, they were now again changed and Yesler was 


offered a site for his mill and a good claim on the hill with a broad strip of 
land coiinecling them. This satisfied the sawmill man who, in October, com- 
nKiKi.ll liuilding the first steam sawmill on Puget Sound. 

The machiner}' arrived from San Francisco and the saw was set up before 
it had a root to cover it. The logs entered the mill from the water at Post 
Street aiul the carriage extended to the east side of where Seattle in later years 
made a park under the name of Pioneer Place. This spot, the principal feature 
of which is the totem pole — fitting memorial of a primitive people — is the site 
upon which Seattle's manufacturing industry commenced over sixty years ago. 

The mill began cutting lumber in .March, k^53, with a crew composed of 
liulians and while ukw. many of the latter during the later years rising to posi- 
tions of wealth and influence in the affairs of the city and state. The men who 
made U]) this first crew have all passed on to another world, but the names of 
many of them are preserved in the buildings, parks and streets of the city which 
iheir dcscendents are proud to call their home town. 

George F. Fr>e was the head sawyer — and it is said he was one of the best 
workmen in his line that ever started a log on its trip to the lumber pile — 
while T. D. Hinckley was engineer. John J. Moss, L. V. Wyckoff, L. Douglass, 
Dexter Morton, .\rthur Denny and many others put in some time as mill hands 
in those early days, and Ilillory Butler, Edward llanford and John and Lemuel 
I lolgate furnished most of the logs during the first few years; in fact Yesler's 
mill was the principal source from which the jjcople drew their nK-ans of livcli- 
h(jod for some ten years and very few residents of Seattle but worked there 
more nr less during that period. 

The log cabins soon gave way to houses made of sawed lumber. A wharf 
was built out to deej) water and the mill was ready to ship its product to the 
San Francisco market, where it found a strong demand awaiting it at prices 
which kept the mill running to its daily capacity of lo.ocx) feet, ^eslcr was the 
iderd jiioneer, and although he received verj' high prices for his lumber he was 
nearly always hard up because of his generosity and "easy ways." He seemed 
to take a great deal more pleasure in erecting a new house for a tenant than he 
<lid in collecting the rents due him from that house after it was linished. The 
mill cook house was tavern, church and club from whicii the hungrj' were never 
turned away. The mill did not possess such a lu.xurious thing as a whistle, but 
an old circular saw hanging on the side of the cook house afi'orded the means 
of calling the workmen to and from their tasks and at the srune time gave the 
cook a chance to try his hand at producing noises more varied and frightful 
than ever came from the metallic sides of a Chinese gong. 

Mr. Yesler became wealthy in later years, not through the profits derived 
from his sawmill, but through the increase in the value of the real estate he had 
ac(|uired in the early days. 

An interesting sketch of the part Yesler"s mill jilaytd in the early life of the 
scttlenKMit was given by Mr. Yesler himself in an interview which he gave to 
the Post-Intelligencer a few years before his death : 

"After I got my mill started in 1853, the first lot of logs was furnished by 
Doctor Maynard. lie came to me and said he wanted to clear up a jjiece on the 
s])it, where he wanted to lay out and sell some town lots. It was somewhere 
about where the New England Hotel now stands. The first mill stood on the 


present site of Pioneer Place. The spot where the old cook house adjoining 
the mill stood is in the intersection of Yesler Way and First Avenue South. 
Flillory Butler and Bill Gilliam had the contract from Maynard, and they 
brought the logs to the mill by hand, rolled and carried them in with hand- 
spikes. 1 warrant you it was harder work than Millory or Bill has done for 
many a day since. Afterwards, Judge Phillips, who went into partnership witli 
Dexter Horton in the store, cut logs for me somewhere up the bay. 

"Ditring the first five years after my mill was started, cattle teams for logging 
were but few on the Sound and there v.-ere no steamboats for towing rafts until 
185S. Capt. John S. Hill's Ranger Xo. 2, which he brought up from San 
Francisco, was the first of the kind, and George A. Meigs' little tug Resolute, 
which blew up with Capt. John Guindon and his crew in 1867, came on about 
the same time. A great deal of the earliest logging on the Sound was done 
exclusively by hand, the logs being thrown into the water by handspikes and 
to\ved to the mill on the tide by skiffs. 

"In 1853, Hillory Butler took a contract to get me out logs at Smith's Cove. 
George F. P'rye was his teamster. In the fall of 1854 and spring and summer 
of 1855, Edward Hanford and John C. Holgate logged for me on their claim-;, 
south of the townsite toward the head of the bay. T. D. Flinckley was their 
teamster, also Jack Flarvey. The Indian war breaking out in the fall of 1855. 
put a stop to their logging operations. The Indians killed or drove oft' all of the 
ox teams or cattle hereabouts and burned the dwellings of Hanford, Holgate 
and Bell on the borders of the town, besides destroying much other property 
throughout the country. 

"The logging outfits in those days were of the most primitive and meager 
description. Rafts were fastened together with ropes or light boom chains. 
Supplies of hardware or other necessaries were brought uj) from .San I'rancisco 
by the lumljer \essels on their return trip as ordered by the loggers. I remember 
on one occasion Edmund Carr, John A. Strickler, Francis McXatt and John 
Ross lost the product of a season's labor by their raft getting away from them 
and going to pieces while in transit between the mill and the head of the bay. 
My booming place was on the north side of the mill, where now the foundations 
are going uj) for the Toklas & Singerman, Gasch-Melhorn and Lewis brick 
blocks. Ihere being no sufficient breakwater thereabouts in those times I lost a 
great many logs as well as boom chains by the rafts being broken up b)- storms. 

"My mill in pioneer times, before the Indian war. furnished the chief resource 
of the early citizens of the place for a subsistence. When there were not enough 
white men to be had for operating the mill I employed Indians and trained them 
to do the work. George Frye was my sawyer up to the time he took charge of 
the John IJ. Libby on the \\'hatconi route. My engineers at different times 
were T. D. Hinckley, L. \'. Wyckoff', John J. Moss and William Douglass. 
.\rlhnr A. Denny was a screw-tender in the mill for quite a while; D. T. Denny 
worked at drawing in the logs. Nearly all the prominent old settlers at some 
time or ot'ner were employed in connection with the mill in some capacity, either 
at logging or as mill hands. ] loaded some lumljer for China as well as for 
.San Francisco. 

"The ]5rice I ])aid for logs in those days was $7 per 1,000. The best price 
I ever got in .^an Francisco was only $35 per 1,000. Of course, the only kind 


111 lugs 1 could get were short lengths and nut, jjcrliaps, of the highest average 
(|nahty. Some of tlie big mills got. 1 believe, for a while as high as $50 per 
I. IKK) for lumber in San Francisco. The ])rice. however, rapidly declined willi 
nicrease of supply." 

Such is a word ])icture of the humble beginning of Seattle's greatest industry. 

e community most readily developed along the line of its chief natural 

rc-i)urce and after more than three score years of steady ])rogress that industry 

still remains the leading one. In the Seattle telephone directory published in 

jiteniber. 1915. there were thirty firms listed as lumber manufacturers, twenty- 

lour as retail lumber firms and 106 as wholesale lumber and shingle dealers. 

l-"arly in the community's history the shingle industry i)layed its ])art. In 
vi\id contrast witli the modern shingle mills, whicii send out their ])roduct in 
tremendous quantities, was the crude wnrU of the city's first shingle makers, 
who had to do all their work by hand. Seated in the midst of the clearings they 
had themselves made the workmen shaped those first shingles with draw knives, 
tluir workshops being walled with towering trees and inirtially roofed with the 
pnijecling branches. 

.\ picturesque account of the early life about Seattle and the importance of 
\ crier's mill as the center of industrial activity, is given by F,. 15. Mai)le. who 
crossed the ])lains and joined his father and brother on the Duwaniish River. 
1 le wrote: 

■■.\fter I had been at ( )lympia se\eral weeks i)t)clor .Maxnard. with four 
i Hans and a large canoe, came from Seattle to 01yni])ia lo buy goods for the 
Indian trade. Mrs. luiiii ikiiny. mother of .\. .\. Denny, and i\ella. her lillle 
'lighter, and Mr. Latimer came from Oregon to 01ym])ia and went on In 

illle with Doctor Maynard. ( )n our trip down head winds and strong tide 
:npelled us to go ashore and cam]) until the wind ceased. Crossing from 
\ a-hon Island to Alki Point we came near swami)ing. It kei)t an Indian bu.-x 
bailing the water to keep the canoe from sinking. We were all glad when we 
got ashore. We reached Seattle about 2 o'clock at night and lei .Mrs. Denny 
anj] Mr. Latimer out at .-\. .\. Denny's, near the beach. I went home with 
Doctor Maynard and stayed all night. The next morning he hired two 
and a canoe an<l sent me u]i the river to Collins', where my father was. 1 
\isiied him and brother and then went to work for Collins for a short time. 
When 1 reached Seattle it was on the 12th day of r)ctober, 1852. II. L. Yesler 
returneil from 'h'risco the ne.xt winter .uid l)uilt a sawmill in Seattle. .My father 
and I took a contract for getting out 7.000 telegraph ])oles and 5.000 boat ])oles ; 
these we packed out of the woods to the water on our shoulders. We rafted 
them by hand alongside of the ship, as there were no steamers here to do our 
towing. This supplied us with money enough to go to the Columbia Ri\er and 
buy two yoke of o.xen which cost us fifoo. We drove them t<i ( )lynipi;i :inil 
ship])e(l them down on a scow to the Duwanii>li l\i\er. ihere we went lo farm- 
ing as well as lumbering." 

In i<jo,^ Clarence 11. I'.agley wrote a series of articles for one nf liie cily 
newspapers upon local topics. In one of iheni an interview with the iale Dexter 
Ili)non a])i)eared. which is here rejjnjduced : 

"Dexter Morton, banker and millionaire capitalist, would not seem to a resident 
of Seattle, coming here since 1880. a i)romising source of information regarding 


work about Yesler's mill, but I knew my ground, so called on him for some 
reminiscences. He said: 

" 'Uncle Tommy Mercer and I and three others started from Salem early in 
the spring of 1853 for Seattle, intending to walk all the way that we could. 
After we had got fairly started, I had an attack of the ague, to which I was 
subject, and had to go back to Salem, while they went ahead. That night I took 
medicine and underwent a profuse perspiration and the next morning felt able to 
make another start. I overtook the others near the mouth of the Cowlitz 

" 'We arrived here early in ]\Iay and found Yesler's mill had been sawing 
lumber for a short time, though the mill had only the frame up. 

" 'I worked for W. N. Bell for a time at shaving shingles and getting out 
piles and sawlogs down near Smith's Cove. Also" went down to Port Gamble 
and Port Townsend. At the latter place I worked at carpentering a short time 
and at Port Gamble I ran the mill cook house for several months. This was 
after I had been back to Salem and brought over my wife and daughter. 

" 'After this I came back to Seattle, and in the summer of 1854, went to work 
in Yesler's mill. It was running two twelve-hour shifts, and I went on duty at 
12 midnight and worked till noon next day. We had no eight-hour regulations 
those days. 

" 'Aly work was to turn one of the screws and help carry away the slabs. 
After a slab had been cut oil. we set the screws, and while the saw was making 
another cut we took the slab out and put it on the big fire that was always 
burning in Yesler Way near where First Avenue then intersected it. That was 
before Yesler began to use the slabs to fill in under his wharf. 

" 'That summer Uncle Tommy spent most of the time on his place near 
Lake LInion, clearing the land, and I did the teaming. There was only the one 
wagon and team in town then. After I ate my dinner I went around to the 
shed where he kept 'Old Tib' and 'Charley' and hitched them up and did 
whatever teaming there was to do. This usually took a couple of hours; then 
I went to bed. I hauled the lumber for Plummer's store and several other 
buildings that season. If any one had some lumber, wood or goods to haul he 
knew he could find me at the mill, so he came there and told me what to do. 

" 'There's something to show whether I worked hard or not, and Mr. Horton 
extended his right hand to me. where I felt in the palm two hard kernels, each 
the size of a coflee berry, that have remained there for nearly rifty years, 
testimonials of the hardships of pioneer days.' " 

When Mercer's team and wagon reached Seattle there was no road for them 
to use. The neighbors clubbed together and improved the trail that already 
existed so the wagon could be used upon it. The road extended northward 
along the general direction of First Avenue to about \"irginia Street ; thence 
diagonally over the hill to near the corner of Battery Street and Sixth Avenue 
North, and from there northerly through David Denny's claim to JNIercer's. The 
latter at once set to work hauling out lumber from Yesler's mill, and in good 
time had a well-lniilt two-story house ready for himself and his four motherless 
daughters. Its site was near the present corner of Roy Street and Taylor 
Avenue. When Bell moved over from Alki he went into a small log cabin, 
and as soon as he could get the lumber he put up a pretty good house and moved 


into it. The lumber had to be taken down by waur and landed un the beach 
and carried u\) the steep bank by hand. Until his new home was ready for use 
Mercer and family lived in Bell's first cabin. 

During the years 1853-54-55 the sawmilling industry grew very rajjidly on 
Puget Sound. Here were vast forests of the finest of timber, many beautiful 
bays of deep water and safe anchorage, where mills could be built right at the 
water's e<lge. The laws permitted milling companies to acquire large tracts of 
this valuable timber land at a very low price, and captains of the lumber carrying 
vessels were not slow in realizing the immense wealth-producing possibilities 
offered in the investment of even small amounts of capital. Since the construc- 
tion of a sawmill involved the expenditure of a large amount of money and the 
success of the investment depended to a great extent ujion the control of the 
supply of raw material, the pioneer mill builders located where they could secure 
title to as large an acreage of timber land as possible. This question of guarantee- 
ing future supply necessarily forced the building of the mills in widely separated 
places, each mill having its own town with stores, boarding houses and all the 
other things necessary to house and feed and clothe the people who depended 
upon its pay roll for a livelihood. 

Owing to this widely sc])arated location of the mills, it is hard to obtain 
accurate figures as to the lumber outiJut during these early years of the industry. 
Commenting on this the I'ioneer and Democrat, of Olympia, in its issue of 
Febraury 17, 1855, says: "As there are some twenty-four sawmills on the 
waters of the Sound, four or five of which are large steam cstablisbmcnts, run- 
ning gangs of from five to twenty-five saws each, it would be a matter Imtli of 
information and interest to the ])ublic if the ]jro]jrietors of each woultl make out 
for i)ublication and furnish us with the amount of foreign and domestic e.\])orts 
of lumber, etc., within the past year." 

As many of these mills were owned by outside capitalists who managed 
them through hired superintendents, it is possible they did not care to make public 
the results of their operations ; at least the newspaper was not able to gather the 
desired data. The Puget Mill Company, however, furnished the following 
statement of its business : 

For ex])ort, sawed lumber, 1,468,912 feet; shingles, 26,000; masts and spars, 

Domestic trade, sawed lumiier, 2,204,885; shingles, 38,000; ])iles, 42,103 feet. 

Value, foreign, $28,474.82; domestic, $42,524.78. Total, $70,999.60. 

J. J. Felt, who owned a number of vessels engaged in carrying lumber to 
San Francisco, built a good sawmill at Appletree Cove on the western shore of 
Madison Head during the winter of 1852-53. It began cutting lumber on April 
4, 1853, a few days after Yesler's Seattle mill started operation, and after ship- 
ping several cargoes was bought by George A. Mimi,'s and nioxed to Port 

.\lthough the mill burnefl shortly after Mcig> had moved it to the new 
location, iirejiarations were at once made to rebuild. With the rebuilding of 
the mill i'ort Madison commenced a regular skyrocket period of growth, and 
during the next five years had reached a place where she became a rival with 
Stcilacoom for first place in commercial importance on the Sound. In addition 
to the regular pioneer sawmill town business enterprises. Port Madison had a 


brass foundry, an iron foundry, a well equipped machine shop capable of handling 
large mill and ship work, while just across the narrow inlet was a shipbuilding 
yard. Mr. Meigs owned a line of lumber carrying vessels, and while the greater 
part of his lumber found its way into the San Francisco market, other cargoes 
left his wharves bound for almost every port in the world. 

As lumber carrying charges were \cry high in those days. Mr. Meigs made 
two profits upon the output of his mill and was well on the way to becoming a 
very rich man when his mill plant burned to the ground on May 2\. 1864. The 
loss was about $100,000. but the ashes were hardly cold before plans were made 
for rebuilding. The new mill was pushed along with such rapidity that Ijy the 
end of the summer I'ort Madison was again sending cargoes of Kunber to San 

After having managed the San I'rancisco end of the liusiness for fifteen 
years. William H. Gawley was taken into the business in 1S72, the firm becoming 
Meigs & Gawley. Gawdey became entangled in the wild stock gambling of that 
])eriod and in an effort to save himself used company money and carried the 
firm to ruin in the panic of 1873. The business was reorganized by Meigs 
;ind his associates under the name of Meigs l.uniljer & Shipl)uil(ling Company 
and was again placed on a sound footing. 

Early in the spring of 1853 Capt. William Renlon an<l Charles C. Terry 
began building a mill at Alki Point, but the work was hardly finishetl when the 
builders found that the strong winds antl high tides which sweep arotnid the 
point made the site undesirable. The nfiU was soon dismantled and moved to 
Port Orchard, where Captain Renton operated it until 18(0. when it was sold 
to Colman & Falk. Owing to a partnership disagreement, balk sold his interest 
to A. K. ¥'. Gilden, and the new owners spent a great deal of money on improve- 
ments and additions before they put it in operation in i8(k>, only to find them- 
selves facing a heavy debt and a poor market. Financial troubles multiplied and 
the business was wrecked, the mill later being destroyed by fire. 

After disposing of his interest in the Port Orchard mill. Captain Ronton went 
to San Francisco with the intention of making that city his home. The call of 
the Sound country proved too strong for him, however, and after two \ears' 
residence in the California metropolis he purchased a complete sawmill outfit 
and started north with the intention of again taking tip the manufacture of 
lumber. With the help of Theodore Williams, Captain Renton sounded the 
Port Blakeley harbor, tising a clothesline weighted with iron, and decided that it 
offered the location he was seeking for his mill. F)uilding operations were soon 
under way. the mill commenced cutting lumber in April. 1864, and Captain 
Renton was once again, in the harness with a nfill which had cost him $80,000 
and had a capacity of 50.000 feet daily. On Alay -?8th. the ship Xahumkeag, 
Gove master, arrived and began loading the first cargo of lumber ever cut in the 
Port ISlakeley mill, a nfill which, in later years, became the largest in the world. 

The Port Blakeley mill, like many another of the early sawmills on Puget 
-Sovmd, passed through several changes in ownership during the early part of its 
history, and it w-as not till 1881 that it passed into the ownership of the Port 
lUakeley Mill Company. These mills were destroyed by fire in 1888, but rebuild- 
ing operations were pushed along with such vigor that they were again cutting 
lumber just five months from the time they were burned. Many improvements 


and additions were made lo ihc plant, and fur man) )-cars it liad the disiinciion 
of being the largest sawmill in the world. I'ire again burned the mills in May, 
1907. but they were again rebuilt and arc today furnishing their (|Uola of the 
lumber which goes from I'uget Sound to many jxirts of the world. 

Captain Kenton was at all times a loyal friend lo Seattle. During the years 
that he was in the lumber manufacturing business, Seattle banks carried his 
deposits, Seattle merchants sold the goods which went to supply his camps 
and boarding houses and Seattle people were his friends. When the .Xorthern 
Pacific turned its energies toward killing out the town. Ca])tain Renton demon- 
strated his confidence in the ultimate victory of the city by investing heavily in 
real estate, an investment which he. like many other sawmill ojierators of tiic 
jieriod, found to be sound and prolitabic. 

Jhe mill at Seabeck Ijegan culling hiiubcr in i^^j. wiiii J. R. Williamson, 
W. J. Adams, Marshal Mlinn. W. I!. Sinclair and liill llarmon as owners. 
The first outfit, which was second-hand, was ])urchased for §20,000 ; but atldi- 
lions were made to the equipment and at one time Seabeck was one of the 
im])orlant sawmill points on the Sound. Williamson, who bad iiDughi the 
interests of Sinclair and llarmon, sold out to .-\dams and iilair in iSdj, and 
i(jgcther with Captain I'lummer, of .San bVancisco. and Charles rhillips. of 
\\ hidby Island, built a new mill at West Seattle. The West Seattle mill. 
which had a cajxicity of 50,000 feet, began operating in the summer of i^(>4, 
and was said to be the best mill on the Sound at the lime. ( )n .\])ril 8, 1S67, 
it was burned and the following year a new mill under a new man.igcment was 
built on the same site. It also was burned later. 

.\ great many of these car>y mills supjilied cargoes of spars .ind ])iling as 
well as lumber. .\s logging crews of that day worked with an <.i|uipmcnl which 
present day loggers would consider primitive, the task of getting these long spars 
into the water was one requiring the greatest care and ex[jerience. The ground 
ujjon which the tree was to fall was cleared of every stump and rock and was 
placed in what might be called good garden condition. The most skillful axnicn 
were assigned to the falling of the trees, which were dropped into the cleared 
^pace. A skid road was then built from the spar to the water and the first 
journey of the stick of timber was conmienced. Many of these spars were from 
So lo 100 feet long, and the loading of them aboard the sailing vessels was no 
little job, as some of them weighed as much as twenty tons. The Dutch shiji 
Williamsburg on one of its voyages to the Sound during the early '^os took away 
100 spars, each measuring from So to 100 feet in length, many of them having 
a butt measurement of from _:;o t(j 43 inches in diameter. I'uget Sound spars 
made a good reputation in all parts of the world and for many years were used 
in carrying the Hags of the navies of ICngland, I'rance, China, Holland, Spain, 
Italy and the United States. In 1S55 the I'rench bark -Anadgr sailed from 
Utsalady with a cargo of s])ars which went to the navy yard at I'rest, where 
they were used in the construction of French men-o'-war. The first shipment 
of I'uget Sound timber to an outside market consisterl of a cargo of piling which 
was taken to San b'rancisco in 1851. Lafayette Balch made the shipment, paying 
S cents per running fool for the piles delivered alongside the vessel at .\i.squally 
and selling them for $1.00 per foot in the California city. 

I'nder llic cajjlion, ■".Machinery," the Ciazette of .\ugusl Kj, 1S65. says: 


"Our enterprising citizen, Air. Abbott, of this place, received by the Schooner 
Brant, this week, the boiler and machinery for a large sash and blind factory. 
He will soon have it up and in running order. This is another substantial evi- 
dence of the prosperity of Seattle, the gem of the Sound."' The editor of the 
Gazette, being much more interested in writing editorial opinions than in the 
■'follow up'' of news stories, evidently forgot all about Air. /Abbott and his new 
industry, as a careful reading of the paper for the next few months fails to 
show that the sash and blind factory was put into operation. The machinery 
j)erhaps went to the Yesler Alill and became the foundation upon which its sash 
and door factor)- was built. The Puget Sound Directory' of 1872 lists the sash 
and blind factory of Lord & Hall, on First Avenue South, also the sash and 
door factory of R. Goodman in Yesler's mill, and no doubt Abbott's machinery- 
found a place in one of these plants. 

After fifteen years of almost continuous operation his old mill was found 
to be in need ot so many repairs that Yesler decided to build a new and larger 
plant. The site selected was one block west of the old mill, and it was here 
the foundations were laid in the early spring of 1868. The size of the new 
building was 55 by 175 feet, and the new machinerj' ordered from San Francisco 
contained, among other things, two engines, one for the top and bottom circular 
saws and one for the planer, edger and cut oiT saws ; two large boilers and 
machinery for the production of better finished lumber. This machinery arrived 
in December, and the mill began cutting lumber on Alarch 27, 1869, with a 
greatly increased production over that of the old plant. The engine and machinery 
of the old mill were made by Hart & Brown of Alassillon, Ohio, in 1852; the 
boiler in Pittsburgh, Pa., the same year, and the equipment came to Seattle by 
way of New York and San Francisco, ^^'ith the completion of the new plant, 
Yesler used the old for the operation of his grist mill until 1875. when it was 
torn down. At this time the old boiler was found to be in excellent condition 
and w-as removed to the plant of Stetson & Post, where it was again set to the 
task of producing steam. 

In 1872 J. Al. Colman was placed in charge of the mill for Preston. AIcKin- 
non & Company of San Francisco, who had leased it from Yesler for three 
years. Colman. who was considered one of the best mill men on the coast, 
purchased the lease in September, 1874. and almost at once began to practically 
rebuild the plant, replacing the old saws with new and installing new gangs and 
other machinerj-. This work was completed in the spring of 1875, and the mill 
resumed the cutting of lumber in June with a daily capacity of 50.000 feet. 
Colman's lease having terminated, Yesler again took over the management of his 
mill. It was burned August i. 1879, rebuilt in 1881, and continued in operation 
down to the time of the big fire, when it was again destroyed. 

Air. Colman was still operating the Yesler mill when he was called to take 
charge of the building of the Seattle & Walla Walla Railroad in 1876. In the 
meantime. Colman, together with William Baldwin, Charles AI. Spaulding and 
Charles Craig, formed the Seattle Saw Alill Company, which company built a 
new mill on Occidental Avenue. This plant was built in 1881. later becoming 
the property of the Oregon Impro\-ement Company when that organization ob- 
tained control of the Seattle & Walla Walla Railroad. The new owners made 
great additions to the mill, which is credited with having cut 8.000,000 feet of 


lumber and $20,000 worth of factory products in 1S88. The next year, a new 
mill 200 by lOO feet in size, was built by the Improvement Company, and just 
l)efore the fire, which wiped it out of existence, the prediction was made that 
it would cut 25.000,000 feel of lumber that year. 

Early in April, 1875, George W. Stetson came to Seattle from I'ort Gamble, 
at which place he had been employed for several years, and commenced the erec- 
tion of a grist mill on Yesler"s wharf just below C. McDonald's. At the time 
it was announced the mill would be ready for grinding grain within two months. 
The size of the building was 37 by 50 feet, and by the last of May, Stetson 
began installing his machinery. In its issue of July loth the Intelligencer states 
that Stetson had just added to the grist mill the following machinery: One 
Ray band saw, one Smith mortising machine, one Smith planing and molding 
machine, a Frank & Company planing machine, and a 24-inch circular saw. 
riiL- mill was said to be ready to manufacture sash, doors, blinds, moldings and 
large size ship timbers. Grain would be ground after harvest. 

On July 31st the Intelligencer carried the tirst advertisement of the Stetson 
& Post Company, J. J. Post having joined Stetson in the enterprise during the 
month. The firm now stated that it was ready to manufacture sash, doors 
and moldings of every description, was prepared to do scroll sawing, also the 
sawing of heavy ship timbers, and would grind feed in its grist mill. The grist 
mill part of the business was soon lost sight of in the heavy demands made upon 
the sash and door factory and the firm made additions to its plant. Before the 
end of the year Stetson & Post had outgrown the wharf location and was seeking 
a new factory site. Securing a large tract of tide land on First Avenue South, 
at King and Wellcr streets, the firm erected one of the best mills to be found on 
the Sound at the time. The new mill began operations in 1882, and the next 
year cut some 14,000,000 feet, furnishing employment to 117 men in the mill 
and sixty in the logging camps. 

The Stetson & Post Mill Company was incorporated January 23, 1885, with 
a capital of $300,000, George W. Stetson, president, and J. J. Post, secretary 
and treasurer. About this time the mill was destroyed by fire and the firm at 
once began the erection of a larger plant, which went to feed the fire of June 6, 
1889. Mr. Post had by this time retired from the active management of the 
company, his place being taken by A. E. and W. C. Stetson. Following the fire 
another mill, even larger and better than any of those which had preceded it, 
was built and for many years remained the leading lumber manufacturing plant 
on the tide lands in the south end of the city. During this time the firm manu- 
factured fir, cedar and spruce lumber, cedar shingles, doors, sash and moldings, 
and did a very large business, not only locally, but in the rail and cargo trade 
as well. 

When the Milwaukee and Oregon & Washington railways came to Seattle 
seeking locations for their terminals they bought the site of the Stetson & Post 
mill, and the company moved to Holgate Street. About this time the company 
was reorganized under the name of the Stetson & Post Lumber Company, with 
George W. Stetson, president; E. H. Brett, vice president, and George E. Brad- 
ley, secretary-treasurer. Early in 1015 a new plant at Ilanford Street and 
Whatcom Avenue was completed and the firm moved again. It now has a thor- 


oughly modern factory and makes a specialty of sash, doors, moldings and mill 
work, the lines for which it was first organized over thirty-five years ago. 

Card & Lair, in 1881, began building a mill on the water front between 
Madison and Marion streets. They ran the mill but a short time when it 
passed into the ownership of the Seattle Lumber & Commercial Company, wlio 
increased the capacity of the plant to 30,000 feet per day, at the same time 
adding a sash and door factory. This mill, like other Seattle mills of the period, 
had a hard time to keep its capacity up to the local demand, so much so in fact 
that in 1889, just before the big fire, it was running twenty hours a day. Its 
output for the year 1888 was placed at 7,000,000 feet of lumber, 2,000,000 lath^ 
'x3,ooo boxes, and factory material to the value of $80,000. A new box factory 
with a monthly capacity of 10,000 boxes was added to the plant that year. It 
occupied some four acres of land, which was swept clean during the fire of 
June 6, 1889. 

An estimate, made by the Intelligencer in 1881. placed the total output of 
the Puget Sound mills for the year at 200,000,000 feet. Of this cut, 25,000,000 
feet was consumed at home, an equal amount was shipped to foreign countries 
and the remaining 150,000,000 went to San Francisco. During the next eight 
years Seattle grew as rapidly as a mining camp, and the demand for lumber 
and building material taxed the capacity of the local mills. New mills were 
built in the outlying sections of the city and the older mills changed hands, were 
enlarged and rebuilt so often that it is almost impossible to obtain accurate in- 
formation regarding them. 

The year 1881 may be said to mark the beginning of a new era in Seattle's 
sawmilling industry, the building of new mills and the rebuilding of old ones 
seemed to be a kind of contagion which was in the air. That the thing "caught'' 
is shown by the records of the next few years, during which many new wood- 
working industries were established in the city and its suburbs. The constantly 
increasing demand for lumber and other building material for home consumption 
was no doubt the main cause for this increase in the sawmilling industry and most 
of the output of the plants was hauled away from the mills as soon as cut and 
soon sheltered one of the many families then arriving by every boat. 

.Seattle's waterfront was becoming crowded with mills, and other locations 
must be found for this rapidly growing industry. The first company organized 
for the purpose of building a mill at some other point within the city was incorpo- 
rated March 9, 1882, as the Lake Union Lumber & Manufacturing Company, 
capital, $10,000, divided into twenty shares of $500 each. The incorporators were 
Luther M. Roberts, Thomas Hood, Nicholas Davidson and Isaac A. Palmer. 
Building was soon under way and the mill commenced cutting lumber early in 
July. Like many of the mills of the Puget Sound country, the Lake LTnion 
mill passed through many changes in ownership, it being known as the Western 
Mill Company mill in 1884, at which time David T. Denny was the principal stock- 
holder. The additions which had been made to the original mill up to this time 
had greatly increased its output, it being credited with a daily capacity of 35,000 
feet of lumber, 12,000 lath and a large sash and door business, the latter factory 
occupying the second floor of the plant. This mill is still a going enterprise, 
and is known today as the Brace & Hergert mill on Westlake Avenue at Lake 
Union. Another notable addition to Seattle's sawmilling industry in 1882 was 


llie construction of the city's first shingle mill by lUirrclt M- I'dwits. ihc phun hcinj; 
located on the waterfront north of Seneca Street. 

Writing of a recent visit to Seattle, a representative of the West Shore of 
I'ortland, Oregon, in the lune, 18X4, issue of that jjuhlication says: "Tn fact, 
it may be said that Seattle is exhibiting greater building industry during the 
])rescnt year than any other city in the Pacific Northwest, I'ortland not excepted. 
.\'ot only is a greater number of residences in process of erection, Init more and 
costlier business blocks and quasi public buildings. l-"ully one thousand houses 
were erected in 1883, at an aggregate expense of $700,000, while $100,000 were 
expended upon water works, $150,000 upon coal bunkers, $.250,000 ujion street 
and sidewalk im])rovements." The West Shore found the following mills in 
operation at iliat time : 

McDonald iS; Reilze. daily capacity of sawmill, 22,000 feet. 20,000 shingles 
and 20 men employed. In 1SS3 it sold on the local market 1,000,000 feet of 
lumber, 5,000,000 shingles and $3,000 of sash and doors. 

Stetson & Post cut 14,000.000 feet of lumber in 1883. employed 117 men in 
the mills, ()0 in their logging camps, ]iai(l out $72,000 in wages and built the tug 
Queen City for towing logs. 

The Columbia & Puget Sound mill had a daily capacity of 20.000 feet and 
gave emjjloyment to 21 men. The Oregon lm])rovement Company was just 
finishing a new 60,000 capacity mill with a large wood working establishment 
in the second story, the new mill to take the jilace of tin- old one of llu- Columbia 
i\: I'uget .Sound. 

riic Yesler and .Xndcrson mill cut 7,000,000 feci of lumber in 1SS3 and 
em])loyed 45 men, ih more being employed in the sash and door factory. 

.Se.'ittle Lumber & Commercial Com])any mill cut I3.<j(J().(j<X3 feet during 1883, 
gave employment to 80 men who earned $75,000. The sash and door plant 
furnished em])loyment for 25 men. large c|uantities of this building ni.ilerial being 

The Michigan Mill Company, organized late in the s])ring of 1883. bad built 
a mill having a daily capacity of 30,000 feet of lumber and was at ibe lime. May, 
1SS4, adding a sash and door factory. 

Western .Mill ( iin)])any was cutting 35,000 feet of lumber. \2.c>oo lath and 
o])erating a sash and door factory. 

The shingle mill of Meriwether iV- I'redericks was being enlarged .so as to 
increase the output, whiili been 40.000 ])er day in 1883, 

Guy C. Phiniiey was building a new 10.000 capacity mill on Green Lake. 

This period of growth continued down to the summer of 1889. at which time 
there were ten mills in operation in Seattle and its submbs. the ])rincipal ones 
being: Stetson & Post, Oregon Imjinjxement COmjian)'. Commercial Mills, 
.Mechanics' ( ^'esler's ) .Mill, Lake Union mill and the ne« mill of the I'ninont 
.Milling Company. Of the 160,000,000 feet of lumber cut in .Se.illle mill> during 
the year 1S88. ;dl but 4,000,000 feet were used in the city's building o|)erations. 
The total lumber cut for the .Sound that year was jilaced at 454,i;85.i45 feet, which 
was an increase of almost 100,000,000 feet over that of 1887. The capital 
invested in .Seattle sawmills, which gave emi)loyment to over 700 men, amounted 
to over $4,000,000, a great part of which went uj) in smoke on June 6, 1889. 

.\fter the big fire had swept away every mill from Seattle's waterfront, the 


owners, with the exception of Stetson & Post, either sought new locations and 
built new plants or quit the business entirely. Salmon Bay offered ideal condi- 
tions for the establishment of saw and shingle mills, and from a small beginning 
in 1888-89 it rapidly grew until it occupied first place in the city's lumber produc- 
tion, having more and larger mills than any other district in the city. Ballard 
has for some years led all other cities in the production of red cedar shingles. 

That Seattle remained an important milling point is shown by the follow- 
ing list of mills operating within the city limits in 1902 : Seattle Lumber Com- 
pany, Stetson & Post Mill Company, Moran Brothers Company, Newell Mill & 
Manufacturing Company. Brace & Hergert Mill Company, Bryant Lumber & 
Shingle Company, Sutherland Mill Company, Green Lake Lumber Company, Roy 
& Roy Mill Company, John McMaster Shingle Company, Latonia Mill Company, 
and Green Lake Shingle Company. These were within the city as at that time 
constituted, while at Ballard were the Stimson Mill Company, Seattle Cedar 
Lumber Manufacturing Company, Ballard Lumber Company, Salmon Bay Shingle 
Mill Company, N. Campbell, West Coast Manufacturing & Investment Company, 
King Mill Company, Sobey Manufacturing Company, C. H. Nichols Lumber 
Company, E. E. Overton, Kellogg Mill Company, Eureka Shingle Mill Company, 
and Cochran & Zook. These mills are credited with having cut over one hundred 
and sixty-five million feet of lumber and nearly eight million shingles that year. 

During the last few years there have been great changes made in the lumber 
industry within the city. While there are still a number of great sawmills where 
thousands of feet are sawed every day, most of them are combination plants, 
where rough lumber is made into finished products. There are over sixty woo'd 
working and lumber firms engaged in the industry within the city at the present 
time, employing over three thousand men and paying over two million five 
hundred thousand dollars per year in wages. Seattle is the headquarters of the 
Western Washington timber industry. Here are located the offices of the larger 
milling companies, the big associations, the wholesalers and dealers who sell 
the product and the transportation lines which carry the lumber, shingles, sash, 
doors, portable houses, poles, piling, boxes, crates, spars, store fixtures, tables, 
show cases, furniture, barrels, paving blocks, ties, chairs, vehicles, eave gutters, 
ladders, broom handles, and all the many other articles to the outside markets of 
the world. It is the most important industry the state possesses, and has grown 
to enormous proportions. 

Previous to the fire of 1889, the lumber industry of Puget Sound was one 
of individual mills and it was not a difficult matter to keep fairly accurate 
statistics as to the amount of lumber actually produced. Conditions were chang- 
ing at that time and Seattle today is the center of a lumber industry which 
reaches back into the outlying portions of the country over many hundreds of 
miles of railway. Along these railway lines many mill towns have grown up; 
some of them have become centers of fine farming sections and are now noted 
for other and dift'erent products than the lumber and shingles which furnished 
an excuse for their founding. 

The Great Mills of the industry are still on salt water, and, no doubt, will 
always be found there, but with the coming of the Great Northern Railway, and 
the lower freight rates which were made at that time, the smaller mills have 
moved inland. The forest has been mowed down along the shore line of the 


Sound and the navigable rivers, and as each j'ear's swath is removed from its 
edge the loggers are forced to extend their railroads further inland. The mills 
follow the logging roads which in turn give place to railways of standard gauge 
and equipnient and the lumber net. without slabs and other waste, is ready for the 
eastern market. 

The early days of Washington lumbering were days of cargo shipments. 
Even after the Xorthern Pacific Railway built its line over the mountains sail- 
ing vessels continued to carry the main part of the output of the mills, with the 
result that China, Japan, South America, Australia and even the coast of Africa 
knew the good qualities of fir and cedar before the Dakotas. Nebraska and Kansas 
had been given an opportunity of testing this lumber in large quantities. The 
Great Northern Railway reached Puget Sound in 1893, ^"d James J. Hill then 
remarked that the moving of the crop of timber growing on Western Washing- 
ton lands was one of the most important things before his road at the time. 
Unless the removal of this timber was accomplished there would be little develop- 
ment of the farming industry, and without farming there would not be large 
growth in other lines. The principal factor in the removal of the timber was 
cheap freight rates east, and these Mr. Hill put into effect, with the result that 
during the next fifteen years labor and capital were taxed to supply the demands 
made u])on them by the Washington saw milling interests. 

In iS()5 there were about two hundred and fifty saw mills and two hundred 
and twentv-tive shingle mills and other wood working establishments in the 
state. These ])roduce<l lumber, shingles, sash, doors, jiails, caskets, desks, boxes 
and (ithcr products to the value of about fifteen million dollars ; furnished employ- 
ment to some twelve thousand persons who were ])aid nearly seven millicjn dollars 
in wages. During the ten year period from 1893 to 1903, Washington's railways 
were extending their lines so as to open new districts back from the waters of 
the Sound. Mills were being built along these lines and the lumber and shingles 
from these rail mills were finding its way into the central and eastern states, 
where it was proving to be popular. About the close of this decade rail shipments 
began to increase very ra])idly, having reached 658,290.000 feet in 1904, at which 
time cargo shi])ments were placed at 667,034,906 feet. This was a good record, 
lull that of the next year, 1905, shows a phenomenal gain, there being a total 
jiroduclion of nearly two billion feet, of which i, Of) 5, 5 70 ,000 were rail shi]iments. 
The mills of the state that year furnished employment for 93,000 men wiio were 
paid $65,000,000 in wages. Of the 4,592,053,000 feet of lumber sawed in 1913, 
but 1,100,000,000 feet were shijjped by water, the remainder, .ifler local demands 
were supplied, being shipped east by rail. 

The first help wanted advertisement ever published in a Washington news- 
paper was for forty to fifty axmen and eight sawyers to "attend a shingle mill." 
M. T. Simmons, father of the Washington lumber industry, inserted the adver- 
tisement in the first issue of the Olympia Columbian, September 11, 1852. At 
that time there was a good demand for the hand riven, hand shaved shingles of 
i'uget Sound, and for many years they formed an important item of the lumber 
shipments from the ports of this district, just how important is hard to say, 
as they were evidently considered secondary to the lumber industry by early 
writers. As all the shingles of those early days were hand made, in many instaTices 


by the settlers who traded them to dealers and ship captains, records were not 
kept until the introduction of the modern shingle mill. 

For many years, hand made shingles found a constantly growing demand 
awaiting them not only at home, but in California and foreign countries to 
which Puget Sound lumber was exported. The ease and rapidity with which 
these shingles could be split from the fine clear cedar was a great surprise to 
every newcomer to the country. Good prices were obtained and the business 
was one yielding fair returns, especially as very little capital was required. 

To A. W. Hite belongs the honor of making the first sawed shingles on this 
coast. In 1894 the question was in dispute, it being claimed that the first sawed 
shingles were made by an Oregon mill in 1882, when Mr. Hite, then operating 
a shingle mill at Ballard, wrote the Post-Intelligencer as follows : 

"Ex-Ciov. Eugene Semple is not the pioneer manufacturer of sawed shingles 
on this coast, and Oregon cannot claim the honor of being the first place where 
sawed shingles were manufactured on this coast. If sawed shingles were not 
manufactured on this coast prior to 1874 I am the pioneer of the sawed shingle, 
and the honor of the first place where they were first made belongs to King 

"In 1874 I had a small sawmill, called Krumm's Mill, near what is now called 
Springbrook. north of Orillia. It was a water-power mill, and besides sawing 
lumber I made broom handles and sawed shingles. The first sawed shingles 
were made in the early part of the summer of 1874. under the following circum- 
stances : 

"Some church people, the Baptists, I think, were given permission by the 
board of school directors to hold services in the school house up the White 
River, about one mile above Pat Hayes' place. The building was not large 
enough to accommodate the congregation, and the directors allowed the trustees 
of the church to build an addition to the building. I donated the lumber, and 
they wanted shingles. Shaved shingles could not be conveniently obtained, so 
I rigged an attachment to my broom-handle lathe and sawed shingles enough 
to cover the addition. From that time to the present I ha\e been continually 
engaged in the manufacture of sawed shingles. 

"I remember the people then thought my sawed shingles would collect the 
moss quickly and would probably rot and leak more readily than the shaved 
shingles, and they were not very eager to use them but they did." 

The sawed shingle was not very popular with the ])ublic for many years and 
the industry grew very slowly. There are houses in Seattle today that were 
covered with shaved shingles during the '70s and "80s. the roofs still being in 
good condition, and it is entirely due to the ])erfecting of the modern shingle 
machine that the shaved shingle is no longer sold on the market. Machinery 
made it possible to produce large quantities at a much lower price, so like many 
another of the i)roducts of the early pioneer period, the shaved shingle has disap- 
peared from general use. 

The Seattle Daily Chronicle for Alay 7. 1882, says that Burrelt & Powers 
had iheir new shingle mill in operation. It was the only one on the .Sound, 
had a i6-horse-power engine, employed eight white men (Chinese were barred) 
who were turning out from twenty thousand to forty thousand shingles per day. 
The industry developed very slowly and depended almost entirely upon those 


local builders who had llic nerve to try the new product in preference to the old. 
The business had grown by the late '80s to a point where it was decided to try 
and extend the market. Something like one hundred mills were at that time 
engaged in sawing shingles, and the manufacturers organized the Xorth Pacific 
Consolidated Shingle Company, composed of a majority of the mills. This big 
mounding company sent salesmen through the eastern country, conducted an adver- 
tising campaign and shipped carloads of shingles to distributing points with 
instructions to hold them until they were sold. In this way the eastern market 
was opened, and once open the demand grew very rapidly, the shipments for 1891 
reached the billion mark and the shingle men knew that their product had at 
least obtained a hearing. The consolidated company went into the hands of a 
receiver, but the shingle men organized an association in 1891, this also going 
to the wall. The ne.xt year they tried to get together, in fact the history of the 
industry is strewn with the wrecks of many associations, each of which had been 
heralded as the savior of the business. Shingle mills sprang into existence almost 
s])ontaneously during 1892. 127 new ]jlants having been established that year. The 
result of this increase, together with the failure of the association, caused an 
over production and the profits which had been made during the preceding jjcriod 
were turned into deficits. By the end of 1894 there were 234 shingle mills in 
the state, by far the larger part of which were on the Sound, and prices were down 
to 85 cents, for "Stars" and .Si. 10 for "Clears," these ])rices lieing a little below 
the cost of production. 

■ These were the hard times days in the shingle industry. The owners of the 
mills were not making money and the employees were existing through what 
was known as "shingle orders" on the grocery store, the butcher and the dry goods 
man ; but brighter days were ahead. Freight rates were lowered, the market 
widened until red cedar shingles from Washington mills found their way to 
most of the eastern and southern states, where a good demand awaited thcni upon 

Shingle mills come and shingle mills go, but shingles go on forever. A few 
thousand dollars and a small tract of timber are sufficient to start a shingle mill 
and because of this the business is one from which stability has been an absent 
f|uality. Shingle mills might be likened to a "crop," so rapidly do they spring up 
in the slate upon the demand for their product showing symptoms of becoming 
strong, only to ]kiss out of existence through dismantlement, abandonment or 
fire when this demand grows weak and ])rices low. Its small mills are cross 
roads afifairs, oftentimes located several miles from the nearest railway, to 
uiiich the finished shingles are hauled on wagons or auto trucks. They arc 
located in sections of the country where the lumbering mills have skimmed 
the cream and passed the land on to the farmer. They are of great benefit to 
those who settle on the land with the idea of making it ])roduce agricultural 
crops. In the early days only the best of the timber was cut and all second grade 
trees as well as the tops and stumps were left on the ground. The farmer now 
turns these tops, stumps and down logs into shingle bolts for which he finds 
. m.irkct at the nearest cross roads shingle mill. 

Ihe red cedar shingles which Washington mills today ])lace on the markets 
lit the world are about as near jK-rfect as it is possible to manufacture. This 
perfected product is the result of years of study upon the jiart of mill men and 


the manufacturers of shingle mill machinery, who are now making an upright 
machine w-hich produces first class shingles from the tops, stumps and other timber 
rejected by the early logger. For many years what is known as the block machine 
was used. The logs and bolts were sawed into 1 6-inch blocks which were then 
placed in the machines, some of which carried as many as ten blocks at one time. 
Through an automatic action of the machine the thick and thin ends of the 
shingles were cut from alternate ends of the block and dropped through to the 
knot sawyers and graders who were stationed on the lower floor of the mill. One 
of these ten-block mills required about twenty-five men for its operation and had 
a daily capacity of about one hundred and forty thousand shingles. Double 
block and the so-called hand, or single block, mills were also operated, the latter 
requiring a crew of eight men, who cut about fifty thousand per day. It, however, 
produced a better shingle than the larger machine and was not so w-asteful of 

Millions of shingles were cut with these machines and they laid the founda- 
tions of the industry. Shingle mill workers of that day were paid good wages, 
as theirs was, and continues to be, a truly hazardous occupation. In fact, it 
was a common saying during the days of the block machine that a good shingle 
sawyer was known by his hands and a man must have lost a few fingers or a 
thumb on a shingle saw before his apprenticeship could be considered as finished. 
Many men of Western Washington today bear witness of the penalty paid for 
their lack of expertness in feeding the rapidly whirling saws of some old ten- 
block shingle machine. From the pine region of the North Central states was 
brought the u])right machine. Coast machine makers soon added improvements 
to it and it has rapidly supplanted the old block type. It produces the maximum 
of quantity and quality with the minimum of waste — and Washington shingle 
manufacturers in their efl^orts to conserve the timber supply, are ever thinking 
about reducing this waste element to the lowest possible point. 

If the history of shingle mills is such as to justify the application of the 
word "crop" to the comings and goings of its plants, then the industry is perhaps 
best described by the term "game." !Men have called the business a gambling 
game, one to which many men of small business experience and capital were 
attracted during the early days of its development. When shipments to the 
eastern states began to assume proportions in the early '90s, the gaming feature 
entered the business. By the close of the year 1892 production had passed the 
billion mark, the 200 mills then operating being credited with an output worth 
nearly two million dollars loaded on board the cars at the mills. A large number 
of new mills had been added that year. The hard times period of '93-94 follow-ed, 
the mills were forced to close down and the owners of many of them became 

Having reached bed rock, prices turned upward with the general improvement 
of business conditions in the country, and by the end of 1900 were at a point 
where those mill owners who had been able to hold on through the lean years, felt 
that they could balance the debit side of the ledger with the showing made by 
the credit side and the trade entered upon another period of growth. Profits 
remained small and were not large enough to be attractive to the man on the out- 
side until about 1903, when production had reached i,(Soo, with a value 
of over two million six hundred thousand dollars. Steadily production increased 


without a corresponding lowering of prices and demand and the mill men began 
to hope the disastrous experience of '93-94 would not be repeated. 

The summer of 1907 arrived and found prices at the highest point ever known, 
Stars , selling at $2.39 while Clears topped the market at $2.67 for the year's 
average. Anybody who could raise a few thousands of dollars, or owned a tract 
of good cedar, could "sit in the game," and many mills were built, there being 
some four hundred and fifty in the state at the close of the year. The eastern 
demand was good, miles of loaded cars were started on their way to the Minnesota 
I ransfer at Minneapolis, and other miles of cars were there awaiting reshipment 
when winter came down over the Mississippi X'alley and building operations 
ceased. The demand became weak and prices began to decline ; the extra crews, 
wiiich had been so busily engaged through the summer, were laid off and the 
plants were operated on single time. liefore long this furnished loo many 
shingles, and mills began to close down entirely, the owners became bankrupts, 
and fire, ever a menace to a shingle mill, destroyed many of the plants. 'Ihrough 
the curtailing of i)roduction a point was reached where profits were again possible, 
and the making of shingles today constitutes a very important branch of industry 
in the state. It occupies second place in the limber industry and is annually 
producing some eight billion shingles, which are sold all over the United States 
and in foreign lands. Since liurrett & Powers' mill in Seattle in 1882 began 
work, this city has contributed her fair share of the product. liallard has for a 
number of years occupied first place in the state's list of shingle producing cities, 
her mills giving employment to a large number of men. 

While it is true that lumber and shingles c(jniril)ute by far the largest part of 
the revenue derived from the state's timber industry, lumber is itself the raw 
material of several other industries which have develojied to considerable propor- 
tions. Among these side lines that of sash and doors is j^erhaps entitled to first 
place, the business having grown to immense size since that day in 1875 when 
Stetson & Post opened Seattle's pioneer factory on the Yesler Wharf. Today the 
sash and door factories of Western Washington furnish employment to thousands 
of skilled mechanics, use large quantities of rough lumber and turn out a product 
which is shipped to all parts of the world. Doors manufactured from Western 
Washington fir in Seattle plants are winning their way in Asia, Australia, Africa, 
iuirope and all of the American nations and are holding their own in competition 
with oak, mahpgany and other woods long considered the finest for finishing 

In early days cedar was used almost exclusively in sash and door making. 
The trade was not quick to take up with this limber; but with the development of 
the veneer machine and the production of beautiful veneer and slashed grain fir, 
the industry began to grow rapidly. Through careful selection of lumber, artistic 
designs and proper staining the fir door produced by Seattle factories becomes 
a beautiful thing, fit to adorn the home of the most particular builder, and it 
is no wonder that the business is constantly growing as new nirirkels are opened 
to the products. 

Seattle's cooperage industry began in the fall of 186S when R. C. Graves 
established a small shop on First .Avenue "opposite the North Pacific Krewery." 
Barrels for fish, beef, fish oil and furs constituted the principal part of his product, 
and he found a good market in the local demand for these articles. Five years 


later George Sidney was manufacturing barrels, beer kegs, tubs and pails in the 
same location, but it was not until the Mattulath Manufacturing Company was 
organized that Seattle became a cooperage point of any consequence. During 
the year 1879 the Mattulath Company, Hugo Mattulath, president, Francis Cut- 
ting, vice president, and Sidney AI. Smith, secretary, began the construction of 
an immense barrel factory on the bay shore just south of Denny Way. A good 
wharf was built out to deep water, several large factory buildings were erected 
and a large crew of men was soon busily engaged in turning out barrels. 

The compan}' started on a large scale, but during the ne.xt few years so 
many additions were made to the buildings that at one time it had almost five 
acres of land under roof. By the end of December, 1881, it had a crew of over 
seventy-five men employed, and its output for the year was said to have been 
350,000 barrels. Louis Sohns was manager at this time. During the early part 
of the year following many additions were made to the buildings so that by luly 
the plant consisted of a main building 30 by 100 feet in size, to which had been 
built a 30 by 80 foot addition ; a 40 by 200 foot dry kiln and a storage shed 25 by 
200. The power plant contained a 160 horse-power engine, and the 80 men 
employed were making about three thousand barrels per day. 

While many stave barrels were made from fir and Cottonwood, it was upon 
the staveless veneer barrel made from the latter timber that the Mattulath com- 
pany became a successful industry. Large bodies of cottonwood then grew along 
the rivers of Western Washington, and these trees furnished the logs for the 
\eneer machines. The barrels were shipped, knocked down, in bundles to the 
lime kilns of the San Juan Islands and to the sugar and flour mills of San Fran- 
cisco, the latter city taking the principal part of the output of the factory. .\t 
this time Claus Spreckles was the sugar king of the I'acific Coast, and through the 
purchase of the Mattulath barrels he became interested in the enterprise, with the 
result that in March, 1883, he purchased the business for 8300,000. .Spreckles 
at unce began increasing the capacity of the plant, and in July the announcement 
was made that the crew would soon be doubled in number. 

The report made at the close of the year's business shows that an average of 
125 men were employed during the year. The daily output of the plant was 
2,500 veneer and 500 stave barrels, and the company having on hand at that 
time 10,000,000 feet of cottonwood logs. 

Eastern manufacturers who for years had been trying to induce the Southern 
Pacific Railway to give them a reduction in the freight rates on western 
bound barrels, were finally successful, and wdiile the new rate granted by the rail- 
way amounted to a reduction of but one-half cent below the price of a Seattle 
barrel delivered in .San Francisco, it was enough to jnit the local company out of 
business and the plant was closed down. 

Among the men thrown out of employment through the burning of the 
Mechanics Mill on June 6, 1889, was David Darville, a wood turner. Darville 
within a short time opened a small woodenware factory at Smith's Cove. John 
S. Darville having joined the firm, which was now known as Darville Brothers, 
the factory was moved, in 1895, to Fifteenth Avenue West and Crockett Street, 
where the business was continued for some years under the management of 
various members of the Darville family. The Alaska Herring & Cooperage 
Company operated the plant in 1906, it later becoming the property of the Seattle 


(ctlarware Company. The Seattle Barrel Factory began operations on Connecti- 
cut Street in 1H95, moving later to Grant, and continued in the cooperage business 
for about ten years. 

The foundation upon which the present day Western Coojjeragc CuniiKiny 
was built was a little shop which Albert liuhtz opened in the Edgewater district 
in 1896. The little shop grew and within a short time had become the Fremont 
i;arrcl Company with lUihtz as manager. During the next ten years it was one of 
the im])ortanl industries of the north end of the city, its owners finding it 
necessary to move into larger quarters several times during that jjeriod. The 
comi)any was reorganized as the Western Cooperage Company in kioj and soon 
after the ])re.senl modern factorj- at 1327 Ewing Street was built. 

Today Seattle barrels, made of fir, are used in carrying Puget Sound fish and 
Washington berries, sauerkraut, pickles and many other jjroducts to the markets 
ol tin- world. .\. well made fir barrel compares favorably with a like barrel of any 
otjicr kind of wood, and the Western Cooperage Company is doing a large busi- 
ness, its product supplying not only the local market but also being shipjied to 
other points. 

Fishing, dairying, fruit growing, manufacturing and wholesaling are all indus- 
tries retiuiring the transportation of their products and goods from one place 
to another in boxes. I'.ecause of this the growth of local box factories has 
kept pace with the development of other lines of business. It is an important 
branch of the lumber industry, and from a small beginning has grown until 
today it gives eni]>loyment to much capital and labor and sends its product to 
many i)arts nf tiu- wmlil. A number of dilTcrent kinds of timber are used by the 
box niakers. the niillions of berry cujjs made by Washington mills consume large 
quantities of sjjruce. which is also used in the making of many other kinds of 
light weight boxes and crates. Fir and cottonwood arc used for the heavier 
boxes required by the manufacturing, lishing and agricultural jnirsuits, while 
aUler is jxipular with the ship])ers of dairy products. 

W hile shingles, barrels and boxes are the leading side lines of the lumber 
iiidustrv they are by no means all of them. To give a list of the articles made 
from Western Washington lumber is out of the (jueslion, all that is necessary 
i- to say that it fiunishes the basis for many manufacturing enterprises scattered 
throughout the city, each of which contributes its share toward the success and 
hai>piness of the people. 

I'.arlv in the spring of 1882 a new carpenter shop was opened by .MacUonald 
\ Rcitze on First .\venue just north of the Commercial Mill. The firm announced 
that it was pre])ared to manufacture sash, doors and all kinds of interior finishings 
and fixtures. MacDonald had for some years been a contracting carpenter, while 
Charles F. Reitze came to the firm from a successful connection with the Stetson 
& Post Coiupany. As both men were good workmen the business was continued 
for some time. After disposing of his interest in llic business Reitze returned 
to the Stetson it Post Comi)any as architect, reiuaining with that/ firm until its 
luill was destroyed by the fire of 1889. The Reitze-Stetson Company, capital 
S30.000. was incorporated September 4. 1889, with C. 1-". Reitze, president, A. C. 
Stetson, treasurer and manager, and 11. P.. Lewis, secretary; an office was opened 
on Sixth Avenue South, between King and Jackson streets, and a factory in the 
Massachusetts Addition to South Seattle, but the firm was short lived and Reitze 


was again back with the Stetson & Post Company in 1891. In 1894 the Wash- 
ington Planing jMill Company was organized with P. Mclnnis, president; W. 
Lotka, vice president; Charles F. Reitze, manager; Albert Hart, secretary, and 
Daniel Warner, treasurer. This firm established a factory at the corner of First 
Avenue South and Xorman Street, announcing that it would manufacture doors, 
windows, moldings, shelving, office, store and saloon fixtures. Reitze remained 
with this company until 1896, when he went back to the Stetson & Post mill as 
foreman. The Washington Planing Mill Company continued in business for 
se\eral years and became one of the city's good plants. 



Terminus was the god of the ancient Romans who presided over boundaries 
and limits. Capitals were located on spots favored by him, and he alone of all 
the inferior gods would not yield his ])lace to Jupiter himself. If the god 
Terminus had aught to do with the selection of the site for Seattle, the Northern 
Pacific Railroad was the Jupiter that fought in vain for nearly a score of years 
to make iiini yield his place. But the legendary stubborness of the god had not 
weakened with the centuries, and that Seattle is txaday a city of such commanding 
strength is due fundamentally to the importance of her location, but largely to 
the boundless courage and indomitable self-reliance of the little group of men 
whom she developed as her champions when the fight was on. 

In the days of ancient Rome the fires of patriotism burned warmest at the 
seat of government; the distant Gauls did not have for Imperial Caesar the 
intense regard the Romans felt. In our new world the condition was reversed; 
as American pioneers crossed the plains to the unknown West they were con- 
scious that they were carrying the boundary of an empire with them, and as 
each day's journey was concluded their love for their country was increased. 
Certainly, it was a patriotic fen'or of an intensity greater than that brewed in 
the East that brought victory in the fight against the manifold difficulties encoun- 
tered daily; and the hills they crossed in getting here, the rude jolts of the ox 
wagons, and the dangers that lurked along the trails, bred in the bones of Seat- 
tle's first settlers a courage that fitted them for the struggle that was before them 
to build up a city against the odds they faced. 

Only the pioneers who took part in it know of the fight for existence that 
Seattle had to wage. "If I had it in my power a locomotive would never turn 
a wheel into Seattle," said one of the presidents of the Northern Pacific after 
the road was built. For sixteen years after Seattle had railroad connection with 
the outside world it was impossible to purchase a ticket in the East for Seattle. 
The Northern Pacific did not recognize the existence of this city, and did every- 
thing in its power to force Seattle citizens to abandon their homes here and 
move to Tacoma, where the railroad owned the land and hoped to build the one 
great city on Puget Sound. 

Three thousand miles from the source of capital, relentlessly pursued by the 
big transcontinental railroad that was backed by neighboring cities that had the 
prestige of rail connections, Seattle fought her battle single-handed through 
stress and storm, until she emerged the victor. Tiiere is absolutely no other city 
in .\merica with such a record. 

Seattle was very young when the possibility of a railroad coming across the 
continent and seeking a terminus on Puget Sound was first talked about. The 
idea appealed, however, and the settlers felt that Seattle must be the location of 



such Icrniinus. as it was the logical point for it. When, in 18O4, the Northern 
Pacilic received a charter to build a line from svniie point on Lake Superior to a 
point on Puget Sound, the whole Northwest was thrown into a state of excite- 
ment. In 1867 the people of the Territory of Washington presented a memorial 
to Congress praying for Government aid for the Northern Pacific, and the Gov- 
ernment treated the company generously in the way of a grant of land. In 1870 
Congress amended the act and by the provision of the new charter permission 
was given to run the main line down the Columbia River and build a branch 
to Puget Sound, just reversing the conditions -of the original charter. In 1870 
work started at both ends, on February 15th, near Ihilulh, and in May at Kalama, 
on the Columbia. 

.Seattle's first disappointment lay in tiie refusal of tiie company to build 
through the Snoqualmie Pass, for, had that natural pass for a railway Ijeen fol- 
lowed, Seattle would have become the western terminus without a struggle. 
The beginning of physical work on the line brought the interest in the selection 
of a terminus up to fever heat and every settlement on the Sound had hopes 
of being the favored spot. Olympia, Steilacoom, Seattle, Tacoma and Mukilteo 
were the principal contestants, and Whatcom, I'^airhascn, Port Townsend. -\na- 
cortes. Holmes Harbor on Fidalgo Island, antl Penn's Cove on Whidby Island 
had aspirations. Of these Olympia was the largest, and by virtue of being the 
seat of government for the territory had high hopes of drawing the prize. In 
all of King County the population was luit 2,164, Seattle claiming 1,142 of it. 
The other towns ranged down from that figure to a dozen or more, Tacoma 
coming about the middle of the list with 200. 

Tacoma was never seriously considered except by her handful of hopeful 
citizens, and Seattle waited confidently for word from New York that the road 
uould touch the waters of I'uget Sound on her water front. The discovery of 
coal in King County and the de\elopmcnt of some of the deposits to a point that 
])roved their value, further strengthened the conviction that Seattle was the only 
logical terminus. 

In the summer of 1872 a committee of directors of the road visited Puget 
Sound with the announced intention of making a selection and its coming stirred 
the small towns into a frenzy of excitement, luich community made its bid, 
Seattle offering 7,500 town lots, 3.000 acres of land, $50,000 in cash, $200,000 
in bonds and the use of a considerable portion of the water front for terminal 
tracks antl depot purposes. This demonstrates the value the towns attached to 
the coming of the railroad, for every citizen was persuaded that the town chosen 
as the terminus would for all time be the great city of Puget Sound. The 
committee cruised around the Sound for a week on the steamer North Pacific 
and received offers of all the contesting communities. It returned East with the 
excitement still unabated, but had reduced the list of contenders to three, Seattle, 
Tacoma and Mukilteo. With what it considered as its strongest opponent, (Olym- 
pia, eliminated, Seattle thought the fight was over, for neither Tacoma nor 
Mukilteo could come anywhere near matching the offer the King County 
metropolis had made. 

For a year the matter dragged along, until on July 14, 1873, Arthur A. Denny 
received a momentous telegram. It read: 


"Kalaiiia. July 14. 1873. 
•A. A. Denny. Seattle : 

"We have located the termiinis on Coniniencenient Hay. 

■R. D. Rick, 



Picture, if you can. the little town clustered around ^'esler■s mill; one <lay 
strong in the conviction that its future was assured hy the cominj,' of ;i j;re;it 
transcontinenlal railroad, the next cast down hy the news that it had lost the 
])rize. It was a stunning blow, cruel in its total unexpectedness, and all the 
harder to hear on account of the duration and intensity of the fight having occu- 
])ie(l the minds of the citizens to the exclusion of any thought of defeat. Some 
of the more easily discouraged citizens closed their sliojis .uul forthwith nio\e<l 
to Tacoma, being firmly convinced that any ])ros])ect of Seattle developing into 
anything beyond a small mill town had disapi)eared. 

.\niong the rest the "Seattle Spirit" was horn. 

Within a few days of receipt of the news of the selection of Tacoma a meeting 
was held and in its sober senses the little town decided that as a railroad would 
not come to it. it would build a road of its own to the outside world. It made 
a stu])cndous, epoch-marking decision and quietly and unemotionally the city 
went about the business of putting it into cft'ect. .'■^ehicius (larfieldc. twice dele- 
gate in Congress from Washington Territory, in making the ])riiicip.d si)eech at 
till' meeting, had pointed out that a line from .Seattle, through Sno(|ualmie Pass 
to the fertile country of which Walla Walla was the center, would bring the 
])roducts of the Inland Empire to Puget Sound cheaper than they could be 
brought by the roundabout route of the Xorthern Pacific, and the citizens acted 
011 his suggestion that they build such a road themselves. 

A com]5any was organized, the Seattle & Walla \\ all.i Railroad iv Traiis]ior- 
tation Company, and the stock rapidly subscribed. The trustees of the comixiny 
were A. A. Denny, John Collins. Franklin Matthias, .\ngus Mackintosh. II. 1.. 
Yesler, James McNaught, J. J. McGilvra, Dexter Horton and J. M. (olman. 
.\. A. Demiy and John J. McGilvra were a])i)ointed a committee to visit Walla 
Walla, and they were met there with considerable enthusiasm. The Legislature 
was api)ealed to and passed acts which were drawn by .Mc(iilvra with a view to 
lightening the work of financing, lly next spring, however, the circle of enthu- 
siasm narrowed until nearly all of it was back at the starting iioint, Seattle, and 
it became apiiarent that if anything were to be done Seattle must do it alone and 
unassisted. In spite of the estimate by (Jeneral Tilton that it would take $4,179.- 
910 to build the roatl by the lower Yakima route aiul !$T„()yj,ijb> if it were con- 
structed by way of Priest Rapids, the ])eople of Seattle were undaunted and 
never for a moment relinquished the idea that the town was to have a railro:i<l. 
To overcome the lack of capital they decided to do the work themselves, and wrote 
May I, 1874, in large letters into the history of Seattle. 

On that day the entire population of Seattle moved to Steele's Landing on 
the Duwamish River and with its own hands commenced to build the road. .Ml 
(lay the men and boys worked, encouraged at noon with a tremendous meal pre- 
pared and served by the women, and by night quite a respectable lot of grading 


had been done. The party returned home strong in the resolve to continue the 
work by vohuitary labor, each man giving one day a week until the road topped 
the mountains and dropped down on the other side. 

The picnic beginning advertised Seattle and stories of her pluck and deter- 
mination reached the outside world, with a beneficial effect on her population, 
for emigration to the West was popular then and many young men from the 
East were attracted to Seattle. Voluntary work was kept up in a desultory 
manner, but the expectation of having fifteen miles in operation by winter was not 
realized, although twelve miles had been graded by October. 

The directors of the road had a difficult task before them. Money was 
extremely hard to get and the enterprise lagged but never for a moment was 
abandoned. In 1875 arrangements were made with Messrs. Renton and Talbot 
by which a section of five miles of the road was completed from Steele's Landing 
on the Duwamish to their coal mines at Renton. This helped a little, but the 
directors were still faced with the big problem of completing the road as a whole. 
Appeals to Congress for assistance produced nothing. Judge McFadden, then 
delegate from the territory to Congress, had been assisted by A. A. Denny, who 
went to Washington in the interest of the railroad. Judge Orange Jacobs was 
elected to succeed McFadden, his interest in Seattle being urged as a reason for 
his election, for he was, in common with all other Seattle citizens, a warm advo- 
cate of the railway. But railroad legislation was unpopular at Washington, 
and Judge Jacobs could do nothing. In every possible way the Northern Pacific 
did all it could to defeat the end Seattle was endeavoring to accomplish and it 
was disheartening work. 

In addition to money the road needed a man. It was felt that if the proper 
person could be secured he could, in some manner not quite apparent at the time, 
push the enterprise to completion. All the time the very man needed was sitting 
on the board of directors. James AI. Colman had come to the Sound in 1861 
and become identified with the lumber interests. By 1875 he was in sole control 
of the Yesler mill and was an extremely busy man. Early ia 1876 his fellow 
directors asked him to take charge of the destinies of the Seattle & Walla Walla 
Railroad, and he looked upon the acceptance of the task as a public duty. From 
the moment he took charge things moved rapidly and Mr. Colman did not rest 
until he had fifteen miles of the road operating at a profit. 

A born mechanic of extraordinary skill, Colman proved himself also an 
organizer, financier and manager. He first proposed that he would put up $10,000 
in cash if five other men would each advance a similar amount, and if the citizens 
of the town would loan the company $30,000, taking $60,000 stock in the company 
as security for the loan. This proposition was not accepted and Mr. Colman 
finally agreed to advance $20,000 if all the others would add $40,000 to it. This 
proposal came within the financial possibilities of the community and was accepted. 
With this money back of him Colman went to work. 

One of the contractors who helped construct the road was Chin Gee Hee, a 
Chinaman, who was popular with all those who knew him. Fortified with the 
knowledge he acquired in this country, he returned to China and has built a 
great railway system of his own. 

Meanwhile the Northern Pacific was having its own troubles. Financing 
was hard also for it, but it always had time to make it as uncomfortable as 


possible for Sealile. Anyone going from this city to I'ortland had to stay over 
night in Taconia both going and coming, as the Xortiiern i'acitic controlled the 
steamers on the Sound and arranged their schedules with a view of forcing 
every possible point, no matter how small, in favor of Tacoma, the city owned 
by the officers of the company. Seattle was discriminated against in freight rates 
from the opening of the Northern Pacific until the growing importance of the 
city and its very independence of the railroad forced the great corijoration to 
lay down its arms and concede Seattle all the points at issue. Hut this was 
only after sixteen years of struggle. About the time Colman tooU charge of 
the i^cattle & Walla Walla, Seattle was not suiiinely yielding to the jiressure 
beini,' ])Ut u|)on it by the Xorthern Pacific. It struck back and dealt such telling 
bl(.iws that e\en in the New York offices of the railroad it was known that the 
little town on Puget Sound had early learned how to ])Ut up a fight. 

John j. Mc(iil\ra went to Washington to assist Delegate Jacobs and the two 
men did yeoman service for their town. W bile iiri^itig tiie claims of the Seattle 
& Walla Walla, they also found time to attack the Northern Pacific and their 
strong fight for the reopening for settlement of a large ])orlion of the land on 
Puget Sound granted to the railway company added U> the embarrassment of 
the Xorthern Pacific in its efforts to raise enough money to comiilete the line. 
It was simply a fight to the finish waged according to the rules of the time, the 
great corporation on one side and the little isolated \illage on tlie other, each 
trying to crush its opponent. 

The first section of the Seattle \ Walla Walla road being in successful 
operation as far as Renton. the ne.xt extension to the mines at .Xewcastle was 
made under the energetic supervision of Mr. Colnian. It was hoi)ed that the 
profits which the road was earning would imjiress eastern investors who could 
be prevailed u]>on to advance enough money to construct the remainder of the 
line, but the time was not propitious for floating railroad ventures and the little 
road had to settle down to a life of limited but ]iroliiai)le operation. 

In 1881 Henry \'illard became president of the .Vorthern Pacific and was 
soon recognized as the greatest financier of his day, for his ability to raise money 
and push construction astonished those whose eft'orts to do the same thing had 
not met with such instant results. His advent into power gave Seattle a breathing 
spell, for it was felt that he was a friend of the city and would remedy the 
situation to the extent of giving Seattle a square deal. In 1S83 \ illard visited 
the Sound and Seattle offered to contribute $150,000 to luiild a standard gauge 
railroad up the Cedar River \'alley to give .Seattle direct connection with the 
Cireen River coal deposits, and also connection with the Cascade Division of the 
Northern Pacific provided. Villard's reply was non-commital but comforting. 
His action, though, in acquiring the Seattle & \\'alla Walla Railroad and all its 
holdings through his Oregon Improvement Company gave Seattle great hope 
anrl plunged Tacoma into corresponding despair. The price paid for the road 
was $250,000, and the coal mines, land holdings and fleet of ships and vessels 
which carried coal to California jjorts brought $750,000 more. 

Seattle's direct connection with the outside world came with the extension of 
the Puget Sound Shore Line of the Seattle & Walla Walla from Black River 
Junction to Stuck Junction, where it connected with a spur line seven miles 
in length which was constructed by the Northern Pacific to connect with its 

Vol. 1—17 


line to Tacoma. There was something grimly suggestive in the name Stuck 
Junction, for Seattle's railroad hopes stuck there for many a weary year. 

In 1884 \'illard was forced to retire from the presidency of the Northern 
Pacific and the road was again in the hands of Seattle's old enemies. The 
branch to Stuck Junction was not •operated, and it was commonly known as the 
"Orphan Road." for no one seemed to own it. Finally farmers along the road 
and the people of Seattle commenced an agitation that prompted the Northern 
Pacific to take action. At a meeting held in Kent, Judge Han lord pointed out 
that as the railroad was built on land condemned by its builders for public use 
and was not now being used in accordance with the terms of the condemnation, 
the people themselves had the power to in turn condemn the railroad and operate 
it themselves. This meeting brought the Northern Pacific to time and the 
operation of the branch line was soon begun. But the service it provided was 
vi-retched. Seattle merchants could secure goods only in carload lots and extra 
charges were made on the slightest pretext. Trains never connected with those 
on the main line. Seattle received no recognition in the company's literature, 
and everything which had a tendency to injure the city's interests was done by 
the railroad company. 

For a time it looked as if Seattle were really at the mercy of the Northern 
Pacific. The city was growing at a satisfactory rate and was prosperous, the 
advertising value of the fight it was making being apparent in the yearly statistics. 
Still the men with a vision realized that the city must have railroad connection 
that would mean something, so the advisability of making a fresh start was 

In 1883 there came to Seattle Daniel Hunt Oilman, and he was not here long 
until it developed that he was not only possessed of a vision, but that he also 
loved a fight for the sake of it, had good connections in the East and believed in 
Seattle. Thomas Burke, an attorney, had quickly become prominent after his 
arrival in Seattle in 1875, and in every movement for the advancement of the 
interests of the town his voice was heard and his financial assistance ready. 
Gilnian and Burke had many conversations, with the result that the lawyer 
became convinced that there was merit in the other's suggestion to secure money 
in the East for the construction of a road from tidewater around the northern 
shore of Lake Washington to Sumas. where connection could be made with the 
Canadian Pacific Railway, enabling Seattle to snap its fingers at the Northern 

In 1884 Judge Burke circulated a subscription list among the little group of 
citizens who could always be counted on to assist matters of public interest, 
and $500 was subscribed to send Gilman East to sound out the money market. 
He returned early in 1885 and on April 15th of that year the Seattle, Lake Shore 
& Eastern Railroad Company was incorporated by the following .Seattle citizens : 
J. R. McDonald. F. H. Osgood, Thomas Burke, Thomas T. Minor, Daniel H. 
Gilman, John Leary, D. T. Denny, George Kinnear, G. ]M. Haller, Griffith Davies, 
William Cochrane and J. W. Currie. 

The trustees were : J. R. McDonald, Thomas Burke, F. H. Osgood, T. T. 
Minor and James Currie. Officers: J. R. McDonald, president; T. T. Minor, 
vice president ; Thomas Burke, secretary and auditor ; E. G. Jefferson, assistant . 
secretary; F. H. Osgood, treasurer; D. H. Gilman, manager; F. H. \\'hitworth. 


engineer; J. W. Lurric, siiiKrimcink-iu of construction. Ju(lj,'c l!urke was also 

rhi> was entirely a Seattle enterprise, and it introduces into the history of 
I lie city several new names, representing chiefly what might he termed the second 
division of the ])ioneers. All of them realized that the only way to hring the 
Northern Pacific to time was to make an aggressive stand, as a decade of appeal- 
ing to that company had gained Seattle nothing. It was proposed to obtain 
.dl the money in the East and to Judge Burke was assigned the duty of going 
' ast to assist Gilman. The judge found that Gilman had tilled the field well 
.nid his negotiations with the hankers, Jamieson, Smith iS; Colling, proceeded very 

"We have decided to go into your ]jro])osition," was the gratifying announce- 
nieni made to Judge Uurkc by Colling one morning. "However, there is one 
lillle condition we would like to make. Vou say you ha\e a wonderfully rich 
'■untry out there and that this road should be a big paying enterprise. We will 
nrganize a building comi)any to construct it and subscribe $500,000 if you will 
])Ul up $10,000 yourself to show your faith." 

■'Good heavens, man I" exclaimed the judge. "1 haven't cash. ,ind 
never had." 

' If you ])eoplc out there cannot raise at least 10 per cent of the monev, I'm 
afraid we camiol entertain the jjroposal," was the re]>ly of the banker. 

Judge Uurke thought for a while. When he got back to .Seattle the first man 
he \isited was .\ngus Mackintosh. 

".\ngus," said the judge, "we raised the money in Xew York and we are going 
to build the road, but in order to jjul the deal through I had to sign an agreement 
to take $10,000 worth of stock in tiie building company which we are to organize. 
1 haven't got $10,000 and 1 want you to lend it to me." 

Mackintosh made the loan. 

The organizing ability of Gilman was again exercised in the incorporation 
of the Puget Sound Construction Company, composed of practically the same 
jjeople who had organized the railway. John I.eary, Angus Mackintosh, Cieorge 
Kinnear and J. W. Currie each took $ro,ooo worth of stock, making, with Judge 
]!urke's contribution, a fund of $50,000, and the Xew ^■(l^k bankers raised the 
remaining $450,000. Tiie whole country was enjoying great prosperity and the 
new road started under the most favorable aus])ices. Encouragement was lent 
to it by the success of the Canadian Pacific, whicii had crossed the Rockies 
from the Canadian plains and was in successful ojjeration to \ ancou\er. The 
lirst division of the road was to be pushed to lssa(|uah. where a coal dei)osil had 
long l)een known to exist, and its development would ])r(n ide traffic for the road. 
The $500,000 was expected to take care of that much construction. In the 
future it was planned that a line would be built eastward to Spokane to meet 
any that came from the East, and another line north to Sumas, on the Cana- 
di.'Mi boundary, where the Canadian Pacific Railway would meet it. 

.\s the construction of the first division proceeded the money became avail- 
;il]!e. each ten miles of ])rogress being marked b\' the payment by the railroad 
cf)in])any to the construction company of the cost of the work. It .so ha[)|)cne(l 
that tiic bridge across the Snohomish River to Snohomish City came at the 


end of a lo-mile stretch and it was being comjjleted as rapidly as possible in 
order that the purse strings of the railroad should automatically be loosened. 

With the tacit, if not the active, support of the Xortheni Pacific officials, 
Eugene Canfield, of Fairhaven, had evolved a scheme which was to connect 
Bcllingham Bay and Seattle by railway, and secured from Congress the right to 
build Ijridges across the rivers that lay between the prospective termini of his 
road. He felt that by this congressional permit his road was the only one that 
could cross the rivers, and he opposed the plans of the Seattle comjiany. But it 
made little difference and the construction of a bridge across the Snohomish 
River was begun. This, as might be expected, somewhat vexed Canfield, and 
he, again with the enthusiastic support of the Northern Pacific, commenced to 
make it as unpleasant as possible for the Seattle company. To this end he pro- 
cured an injunction in Tacoma to prevent the completion of the Snohomish 
bridge. The writ was to be served in Snohomish County as soon as the workmen 
appeared on the bridge site, and the plan was to prevent tlie completion of the 
bridge across the Snohomish River. 

At that stage in the career of the Seattle & Lake Shore, Juflge Burke was 
its most active officer. He heard of the impending writ and the news disturbed 
him, for until the bridge was completed a large sum of money was tied up. Bv 
that time trains were running as far as Snohomish River, the service first being 
inaugurated when a few miles of the road were completed and being extended 
as rapidly as the construction advanced. Judge Burke \V'ent to the depot and 
found a crowd of passengers waiting to take the train to Snohomish. Among 
them was the gentleman with the writ. John Leary joined the judge and 
together they crawled into the cab of the engine. Burke sent the fireman to 
cut otf the engine and instructed the engineer to run him and I^eary as far as 

"But it is just about time for this train to leave for Snohomish and there are 
a lot of passengers waiting," protested the engineer. "However, if you take the 
responsibility I will obey your orders." 

"Til take care of you," said Burke; "all I want you to do is to let her out 
and travel as fast as possible. And never mind stopping at Ballard ; shoot right 
through to Snohomish," added the judge, after the engine was well under way. 

As soon as they got to Snohomish the judge hunted up the sheriff, \\'illiam 

"Billy, how many deputies have you?" asked Burke. i 

"Two," replied the sheriff". 

"Don't you think there are some desperadoes somewhere on the outskirts of 
the county that would require the attention of yourself and your force for the 
next day or two?" 

"I am quite sure there are," replied the sheriff". "What's uj)?" 

"Canfield and his crowd are trying to give us trouble in getting our bridge to 
this side of the river. They have a writ and I don't wish it to be served. If 
you will keep after those desperadoes until I send for you I think you will be 
showing commendable enthusiasm in the discharge of your sworn duty to stamp 
out lawlessness." 

The sheriff and his force departed, and while Burke and Leary put every 
available man to work on the bridge the engine returned to Seattle to bring the 


]);i,sscngcrs who had been left on ihc depot platform. W hen the man with the 
writ reached Snohomish City the work was well under way and his search for an 
oflicial to serve the pajx-rs on Judge Liurke occujiied so much time that the bridge 
was completed before he was successful. When the matter came up in court the 
bridge was an accomplished fact and an injunction to prevent its completion had 
IK) standing. 

It was work such as this which caused the men associated witli JIurke to 
follow blindly when he led. This spirit was exemplified about the lime of the 
liridge incident. C.ilman was in the East to raise more money and while he was 
'here a pamphlet issued by Canfield, in which he quoted many of the leading 
iwyers of the state to the effect that the Seattle & Lake Shore could nut legally 
I ross any, of the rivers included in the permit Cantield hatl secured from C'on- 
gress. was issued and copies of it sent to the eastern bankers with whom Gilman 
was negotiating. 

"This looks bad. (iilman," said one of the bankers. "A railroad that can't 
cross rivers is not a good one to invest money in." 

"Who says we can't cross the rivers?" demanded (iilman, wIkj had not seen 
the ])ami)hlet. 

"A couple of ex-chief justices of the Supreme Court of your territory and 
other leading legal authorities." 

"1 don't care two whoops for all the Supreme Court judges on earth," declared 
Seattle's representative. "Tom Burke is an ex-chief justice, too, and he says we 
.in cross them, and when Tom Burke says anything that settles it." 

It apparently did. for the money came and Tom Burke built his l)ridges. 

The first de])ot of the Seattle, Lake Shore & ICastern was erected at the 
foot of Columbia Street, or near it, on Western .\\enue. it soon became apparent 
that for side tracks and storage room not nearly enough ground w-as available. 
\t this juncture Judges Hanford and Burke aj^pearcd before the city council 
:ind secured the passage of an ordinance creating Railroad Avenue, which was 
1 20 feet wide, designed to afiford an entrance to all transcontinental railroads 
coming to Seattle. The Northern Pacific had built a stub line from ruyallu]j 
lo Black River, from which point it was operating trains in desultory fashion 
over the Seattle-built road into Seattle. Thirty feet of this valuable strip for the 
entire length of Railroad Avenue was offered without price to the Xorthcrn 
Pacific, and thirty feet to the new railroad to Sumas. In that singu- 
larly short-sighted policy w-hich characterized the earlier years of the dexelop- 
ment of its service the Northern Pacific never took advantage of this offer, 
becoming pi(iuc(l over the fact that (iilman had procured first choice of the ground 
for his Seattle, Lake Shore & Ivastern mad, and refused it. or at least never took 
advantage of it. 

The necessity for more money to continue ibe construction of the Seattle, 
Lake Shore & Eastern to Spokane and Sumas having arisen, there was formed 
another construction comjjany, the Seattle & Eastern Construction Comjwny, 
.igain with practically the same stockholders as the two previous organizations, 
and the five men who had contributed $10,000 each to the first construction com- 
l)anv doubled their subscriptions in the new^ company, making the investment 
tif each in the railroad enterprise $30,000. The New York bankers put uj) their 
>hare, completing .1 fund of $1,000,000 which immediately became available for 


construction. Thus fortified, this purely Seattle organization commenced work 
at Spokane and built forty miles of road westward to connect with the line to 

In the early '90s things happened quickly in Seattle's fight. The Northern 
Pacific, startled somewhat by the remarkable success which was meeting the city's 
efforts to build a railroad, purchased the control of the Seattle, Lake Shore & 
Eastern from the eastern stockholders and surrendered completely on every 
point that was still an issue after seventeen years of fruitless effort to wipe 
Seattle off the map. The city had waxed fat on the fight, had a population of 
40,000, modern buildings, street cars and every other attribute of a metropolis-in- 
the-making, and it did not need the Northern Pacific. A new era for it dawned 
and for the past score of years Seattle indeed has no reason to be otherwise than 
grateful to the railroad company, for it was on the strength cultivated within its 
borders in its long fight that the city built the firm foundation upon which it 
is still erecting a great structure. Nothing cements a people like a menace of 
danger from the outside ; this was the underlying force that spurred every Seattle 
citizen on to deeds of civic valor in the early days, and it engendered a feeling 
of self-reliance and courage that equipped the people to meet with fortitude 
and good cheer the fire of 1889 that practically wiped out the business section of 
the city. 

Even the coming of the Great Northern Railway, which is later treated 
separately, did not realize Seattle's early dream of a railroad through Snoqualmie 
Pass. After half a century of struggle the pass still yawned vacantly. The 
Great Northern had traversed the mountains north of this natural channel. Seattle, 
felt that it did not particularly care whether any other roads came, but all the 
old-timers felt that they would die happier if their early faith was vindicated 
by the laying of rails through Snoqualmie Pass. 

Then along came the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul and used the pass. 
V\'ithout .'■iiy flourish of trumpets the road commenced its westward journey on 
April It, 1906, and on March 29, 1909, the last rail was laid and the line put 
in operation, a feat in railroad construction that probably has not been equalled 
elsewhere in railroad history. The Columbia and Puget Sound Railroad, the 
little line which Seattle commenced to build with its own hands under the name 
of Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad, the little line that must ever be a monument 
to tiie bravery, determination and faith of Seattle's early settlers, became by 
lease a portion of the Milwaukee, and if the roadbed had thoughts and could give 
them expression it must have shouted with the pleasure of a gratified ambition 
when it felt the weight of the first transcontinental train upon its shoulders. 
This roadbed is now owned by the Pacific Coast Company. 

And still the story of Seattle's railroads was not written. On January r, 
1910, the Oregon-Washington Railroad ran its first train over its own tracks into 
Seattle. The Harriman system appreciated the importance of reaching Seattle, 
and in 1907 its desire to do so became known by the purchase on its behalf of 
lands for terminals on the tideflats in the south end of the city. An extraor- 
dinary boom in tidelands occurred and fortunes were made over night, a great 
number of lots changing hands at figures they have not been able to bring since. 
With J. D. Farrell as president, the construction of this link in the Union Pacific 
system proceeded without interruption, a feature of its entry into Seattle being 


the fact that it askctl notliing from anybody Init purchased ami ]>ai(l for in cash 
every foot of ground it needed. It broke ground for its magnificent depot in 
1909 and it was completed and occupied on May 1. 1911. On January i, 1910, 
ii ran its first train into Seattle, using a temporary dejxit at Railroad Avenue and 
Dearborn Street until its ambitious home was ready. The new depot is also 
used now by the Milwaukee line, that system having run its first train into it on 
May 25, 191 1. .\ feature of the construction of this depot was that it was built 
from the lideflats level, and llie streets it reached in cliinliini,' ujjward were 
improved by the comi)any and i^reseiucd to the city. 

The company is now known as the Oregon-Washington Railroad & Naviga- 
tion Company, its head office is in Portland, Ore., and Mr. Farrell is still its 
]iresident, having become one of the really big men in the American railroad 
world. For many years he was a citizen of Seattle and played a promincni 
l)art in many of the city's activities, his interests in Seattle still being very 

Now Seattle's position on the raih\a\- ma]) is tixcd. Other roads will come 
to her in time, not because she needs them, but because the roads need Seattle. 
The fight is won. 

Imperial Richard on Bosworth Field yearned no mure fervently for a horse 
ilian did Seattle for a railroad during the '80s. The Seattle, Lake Shore & East- 
ern was reaching out from Seattle towards connection with the Canadian Pacific 
at Sumas, but with the connection established .Seattle would be but the end of a 
i)ranch line instead of the terminus of a main line, as it desired to be. The con- 
tinued abuse to which the Northern Pacific subjected the city, the wretched 
.■-er\ice over the branch to ."^tuck Junction and the failure of the Seattle & Walla 
Walla line to achieve the destiny that was the hope of its founder had made the 
people almost give up hope of ever gettini; what they felt the city must have if it 
were to grow great. 

In the late '80s drooping spirits were revived li\ rumors regarding the Great 
Xorthern. James J. Hill was pushing the St. Paul. Minneapolis & Manitoba 
Railwav westward across the northern tier of states, and reports of the presence 
lit numerous survey parties in the mountains were received and discussed with 
livelv interest. .\ line was run by the engineer through the Skagit l\-iss and in 
that there was little cheer for Seattle, as it indicated I'airhaven as the terminus. 
The town on Rellingham Bay was doing all it could to induce Mr. Hill to ctjnie 
there, and when the "Empire Builder" himself visited it the offer of a free 
right-of-way and all the land that could possibly be used for terminals was made 
to him. 

Mr. Hill came to Seattle and s])ent some time studying every angle of the 
>-ituation. He interviewed leading citizens and was assured that if he brought 
his line here he wcnilil have no difficulty in securing a rigiit-of-way ,inil room for 
terminals. He returned to .St. Paul without in any way signifying what his 
intentions were, leaving both Fairhaven and Seattle still on the an.xious .seat. 

Some months later Col. W. P. Clough, Mr. Hill's attorney, came quietly to 
Seattle, so quietly, in fact, that the papers did not chronicle his arrival. He went 
to the law office of Judge Thomas Burke and introduced himself. 

'Mr. Hill has decided to have Seattle as his terminal point and would like to 
secure a right-of-wav and room for terminals," was the startling announcement 


he nuulc quitil\' to liurke. "He wants you to represent him here, and j'ou are 
authorized to do anything in his behalf that you think is necessary. He expects 
Seattle to li\e up to its promise of an unobstructed entrance and no legislative 
difticulties. Will you accept the job?" 

Judge Burke would. 

It was not long before Seattle knew that lUirke was attorney for Mr. Hill 
aiul that he had instructions to pave the way for the entry of the railway into 
Seattle. It was not definite assurance that the railway was coming, for the ful- 
fillment of Seattle's promises was a condition precedent to the final decision, but 
there had been so many disappointments in the past that a large portion of the 
public decided to postpone any wild outburst of joy until they saw a locomotive, 
with some of Mr. Hill's cars attached to it, steaming into a Seattle depot. 

Judge Burke immediately set about preparing a franchise granting the railroad, 
which will hereafter be referred to as the Great Xorthern. the name finally adopted, 
a right-of-way from the northern boundary of the city, along the water front by 
Railroad Avenue, to the tideflats south of the city. The franchise provided that 
the Hill line was to have sixty feet of s])ace. sufficient for four tracks, but that 
other railroad companies in the future were to have the use of the tracks on the 
payment of rental to the Great Northern. This was the first practical applica- 
tion of the "common user" clause and its inclusion in the franchise was to 
preserve for Railroad Avenue the destiny that was intended for it when it was 
laid out. 

When Judge Cornelius Hanford and Judge Burke v%-ere securing a right-of- 
way for the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railway they encountered consider- 
able difficulty along the water front. First Avenue, at that time, was practically 
the eastern shore of Elliott Bay. although the shore line was wavering. The 
.Seattle & Walla Walla Railroad had secured a right-of-way along the land and 
it conformed with the contour of the shore, which made it amble in so many 
directions that it became known in Seattle's railway history as the "Ramshorn" 
franchise. How to run another railroad along the water front without bumping 
into this meandering prior right-of-way was a problem in engineering gymnastics 
that the two lawyers were unequal to. so they came to the conclusion to settle 
the problem for all time by laying out Railroad Avenue 120 feet wide, with its 
eastern boundary line outside the high-tide line, thus putting the entire street in 
the water. It was an ambitious thing for the small city to do. but nothing was 
greater than the city's ambition, so the council adopted the suggestion. Hanford 
and Burke desired Seattle to have a pathway that all railroads could follow into 
the city and to provide them with the cheapest and most available entrance that 
they could gel anywhere on Puget Sound. For the Seattle. Lake Shore & East- 
ern the first thirty feet on the land side was granted, leaving ninety feet still 
available for other roads. 

When Judge Burke commenced to draw up the franchise for the Great Xorth- 
ern he appreciated that if sixty feet were granted the road there would only be 
thirty feet left for whatever railroads sought admission to Seattle in the future. 
As far as he could see there was no other route by which a road could enter 
Seattle, for tunneling was not as common in those days as it has become since. 

Every difficulty that the Northern Pacific could put in the way of the Great 
Northern's advance to the Pacific Coast was resorted to, and when Judge Burke's 


unnection wilh tin.- Hill line became known the Xortlicni Pacilic accepted it as a 
further challenge. Under the general direction of Paul Schultze the Northern 
Pacific waged a war on the Great Northern from Tacoma, James McNaught, the 
company's attorney, being on the ground in Seattle in local command. Although 
Judge P.urke had been in the employ of the Hill line only a few weeks and 
scarcely knew Mr. Hill personally, he was left alone to conduct that com])any's 
fight. And a fight it was. Despite the fact that npthing had occurred in the 
past to indicate to Seattle that the Northern Pacific was anything but its enemy, 
the fight the com|)any ])ut up against the Hill franchise gained considerable 
strength. It had been an early idea that Seattle was a dift'icult city for a railway 
10 enter and the Xnrthern Pacific forces urged that in support of the contention 
that the (ireat Northern had no intention of coming here, but was merely using 
.Seattle as a club to force b'airhaven to grant belter terms. It was early seen, 
however, tli;it the ( ircit .Northern's entrance into the cilv could not be checked, 
so the fight was directed against the tenns of the franchise with a view to amend- 
ing it so that it would be of little use to Hill. It was contended that to give 
-i.xty feet of space on Railroad .\venue would ruin the city's water front, and 
that four tracks were out of all reason, as the road would never use them. 
I-.ven for four tracks, it was also urged, si.xty feet was ridiculous, as fifteen feet 
for each track was a profligate waste of space. 

.Against these arguments Judge Burke fought, and on his side were the 
papers, which had been approached by the Northern Pacific in an effort to have 
tluni oppose Hill; but desiiite the fact that times were hard then and the ])apers 
b;i(lly needed money, they s])urned the offers and fought loyally for the franchise. 
The chief difficulty in Judge liurkc's way was the opposition of many honest 
l>eople in Seattle who became really convinced that the city would be bottled up 
if the franchise were granted, the presence of the common user clause in the 
franchise not reassuring them, as no amount of explanation seemed to give them 
a thorough understanding of it. 

When Judge P.urke was ready he centered his strength on the city council 
.'ind pressed the fight. Within one week he appeared before the committee 
'f the council to which the application had been referred, obtained a favorable 
report, took it to the council, and at a special meeting carried it through with a 
unanimous vote. The speed with which he worked swept the Northern Pacific 
forces ofT their feet. 

With the granting of the franchise Seattle seemed to realize that the railway 
was really coming and the whole city was elated. 

The next step was for Seattle to make good on its promise to Hill that 
enough ground for terminals, in addition to an unobstructed right-of-way, would 
be given him. A large number of private citizens had property, subject to the 
state's prior claim, on the tideflats in the southern part of the city. Judge P.urke 
a])pealed to each of them in turn. One after another they agreed to relin(|uish 
their rights to the desired land and matters were proceeding nicely until one 
man was encountered who refused to make the necessary sacrifice. He demanded for that portion of his land which the railway needed and no amount 
of appeal to his ai)preciation of the civic interest involve<l altered his determina- 

In itself it was a small matter; at that jLirticular juncture of the negotiations 


it assuined alarming proportions. The investigations of Mr. Hill on Puget 
Sound had persuaded him that the people of Seattle were of the sort that he 
desired to do business with; he had been interested in the fight they had waged, 
and, being a fighter himself, he admired them, going so far as to say he would 
give them the city they had tried so hard to build. In its turn Seattle had 
promised uncontested entry into the city and had assured him that ever}' man, 
woman and child wanted him. Without having given any official assurance, the 
honor of Seattle was none the less pledged to the complete fulfillment of the 
jiromises made by its committees of citizens. Fairhaven had not yet been fi,nally 
abandoned and the least disruption of the program might lose to Seattle the 
jiiize it so badly needed and had striven so earnestly to gain. 

Judge Burke had grown used to collecting money. Before he had been two 
years in Seattle he had set out with a subscription list to secure sufficient monev 
to build a 2-plank sidewalk along First Avenue from Pike Street to Belltown. 
and at the head of the list was his own name and the amount of his personal 
subscription $1. In the present emergency he drew up another subscription list 
and again his name was at its head and opposite it was $i,ooo. He made no 
popular appeal, for it was as necessary that Mr. Hill know nothing of the 
transaction as it was that the money should be raised. The case was put before 
Jacob Furth, John Collins, John Leary, Angus Mackintosh, Henry L. Yesler, 
A. .A. Denny, Dexter Horton, Amos Brown and J. M. Colman and each of them 
[promptly subscribed $i,ooo. The $10,000 was paid to the obdurate property 
owner. That the money was collected was not generally known even at the time, 
Mr. Hill was never informed of it. and this is the first time any public announce- 
ment of it has been made. 

The strip of land thus acquired gave Mr. Hill terminal room nearly a mile 
long and two blocks wide south of Dearborn Street. 

At that time construction of the Great Northern was proceeding through 
Montana and it was pressed through Idaho and Washington to Puget Sound, 
the first train coming into Seattle over the completed system in the svmimer of 

As soon as the line was opened Mr. Hill commenced to give his attention to 
his Seattle terminals. His closer study of the city persuaded him that the land 
for the freight terminals was too far from the wholesale district and that he 
needed some more land between his then holdings and Jackson Street. He gave 
Judge Burke instructions to purchase outright four full blocks upon which build- 
ings of \arious sorts were occupied as stores, residences, hotels, etc. 

In view of the manner in which the purchase of property for railroads has 
Ijeen conducted at other times as well as in other cities the method which Judge 
Burke now adopted was unique. He went directly to each owner, told him that 
Hill wanted his holdings and that he (Burke) expected to obtain it at the smallest 
possible price. The situation was explained. Until the Great Northern was 
completely satisfied with its holdings in Seattle there would still be danger that 
Fairhaven might ultimately become the distributing center for the Hill system. 
Mr. Hill had always maintained that adequate terminals which permitted the 
rapid and economical handling of freight were the ver)- vitals of a railway system 
and as important to it as deep water is to a ship. • 

'A\'e want to be able to sav to Mr. Hill," urged ludge Burke. " 'You now 


liavc better terminal facilities in Seattle than )ou can possibly get in any other 
city on Puget Sound.' We want to see that lie is not held up. but that he gets 
what he wants at a reasonable ])rice. I pledge you my word that I will not pay 
anyone a higher rate than 1 do you." 

Every owner except one put his faith in Incline llurke and agreed to accept a 
smaller price for his holdings than he would have asked from anyone else. It so 
happened that the one man who held out was a resident of St. Paul and a former 
business associate of Mr. Hill. The attorney reported the facts to the railroad 
|)residcnt and Hill replied that the amount was not worth worrying over and thai 
he would pay his St. Paul friend the price he asked. 

This letter from Mr. ilill provoked a reply that somewhat starlkd him and 
gave him a new im])ression of the fighting attorney who reprcscntiil him in 

"\i you pay your friend more than you pay my neighbors for the same class 
of ])roperty," telegraphed Judge I'.urke. "jjlease consider my resignation in your 

"It's no use," said Hill to his friend wlun he showed him ]'.urko"s lekgram. 
"The matter is out of my hands. You'll have to see Burke." 

The friend saw Burke, accepted the same price as the other owners, and the 
last remaining obstacle to the complete satisfaction of Mr. Hill with the situation 
in Seattle was removed. The "Empire Builder's" remarkable foresight was 
demonstrated by this purchase. His tracks now run to the doors of all the big 
wholesale houses in the south end of the city. A car loaded with merchandise 
for it can be nm directly into the building of the Seattle Hardware Company, the 
doors closed behind it and the car unloaded at the company's leisure without a 
dollar of e.xpense for drayage. 

.\nother incident in connection with the acquisition of the property is worth)' 
of note. .Ml of it was purchased in Mr. Hill's name and was held in the same 
way until after his development here had increased the values enoriuously. 1 le 
at last ordered it transferred to the railway company and was asked by the 
accounting department if he would have it \alucd sn that he could get credit on 
the books for the advance in value. 

"Transfer it for just what I paid for it," he ordered. 

'A\'ill we give you credit for the interest?" he was asked. 
"Xever mind the interest." he said. 

Mr. Hill might have conformed to the conception of some people of business 
morals and obtained for his personal account all the profits on the real estate, 
but his idea of his duty to the stockholders of his company was such that he 
never considered it for a moment. This was in line with his policy of never 
accepting a dollar of salary from the Great Northern during all the years he has 
served it. a jKilicy that ex])Iains why he has never had any trouble in raising all 
the money he needed for construction, and further, for the fact that Great North- 
ern stock has never been a football on Wall Street. 

The road was not yet in o])eration before Mr. Hill made a jjcrsonal inspection 
of the timber resources in this section of the country. He knew his cars would 
be coming to the coast full of merchandise, but would be returning empty, a con- 
dition that such a thorough railway man could not tolerate. 

"Unless I can move that cro])," he said to Juflge Uurke, indicating on a ma]i 


the great timber limits of the state, "I might as well not have Imilt the railroad. 
First, it is a natural product which is in demand ; second, unless it is moved there 
will be no room for farmers. It must be moved at a low rate, lower than any such 
commodity was ever moved in the history of the world. Ask the lumbermen 
what they can pay to get their lumber to the ^liddle West." 

The rate was then 90 cents a hundred and lumbermen had little hope of any 
substantial reductions. Among others with whom Judge Burke conferred was 
(jeorge W. Stetson, for many years a prominent Seattle lumberman. 

"If we had a rate of 60 cents we might do something," said Stetson, ""but it 
is a waste of time to discuss it. Xo railway man on earth will cut his rates 
33 1-3 per cent." 

This was the tenor of the opinion of all the lumbermen and Judge Hurke 
carried the information to Mr. Hill at St. Paul. 

".Sixty cents I" declared the railroad president. "They're crazy. At that rate 
they couldn't compete with southern i)ine. I think I'll have to make the rate 50 
cents, and perhaps I'll have to cut it squarely in two. I'll investigate further 
and let you know." 

Within a week after Judge Burke's return to Seattle lumbermen were 
astounded at receiving word that with the opening of the line the rate on lumber 
would be 40 cents. The result of this sweeping cut was magical ; the woods 
became alive, and instead of the empty cars going eastward they were soon coming 
westward, for there was not enough westbound traffic to ofifset the enormous 
lumber shipments to the prairie states. In a twinkling the value of the W'ash- 
ington timber holdings had increased by an amount as great as the capital stock 
of the Great Northern Railroad Company. 

The rate on lumber granted by the Great Xorthern provided for its trans- 
portation from Puget Sound as far east as St. Paul, over two great mountain 
ranges, at a rate of two-fifths of a cent per ton mile, the lowest rate ever given in 
the world under anything like the same conditions. Railroad men laughed at the 
rate as preposterous, and said that the road that gave it would soon be in the 
receiver's hands. There was no bankruptcy, however, and the State of Wash- 
ington entered upon an era of development, of growth in population and of 
general prosperity almost without a parallel even in this country of wonderful 

He is not necessarily an old-timer who can remember the depot at the foot 
of Columbia Street which the Great Xorthern maintained in Seattle for years. 
It was perhaps the worst excuse for a depot operated by any railway in the 
world in a city as large as Seattle had becoine. It was a sore spot with the citi- 
zens, who had to apologize for it every time anyone landed at it from a distance. 
Mr. Hill was importuned in season and out of season to provide a proper depot, 
but he was busy developing his system and gave little heed to the pleas for orna- 
mentation. "He is a wise farmer who develops his farm before he builds a 
palace on it." Mr. Hill would say. "It is more important to Seattle to have goods 
delivered to it cheaply than to have a fancy depot, and I am devoting my attention 
to the more important thing." 

But Seattle was not satisfied and it hailed with delight a proposal made to it 
in 1899 by its ancient enemy, the Northern Pacific. Charles S. Mellen had 
become the president of the road, which by this time was giving Seattle a respecta- 


lilc service. He quietly bought uj) a large i)art of the water front from Wash- 
ington Street tu University Street, and tlieii announced that he was going to 
erect a $500,000 depot of which the city would be proud. Attractive drawings 
-bowing a perspective of the proposeil structure were disi)layed in shop windows, 
:iii(l the city congratulated itself upon the fact that another of its dreams was to be 

hulge llurke yawned, and entered the fight. 

I'lie .Mellen ])lan was an ambitious one. The general who represented the 
-Vorthern Pacific on the ground' was C. J. Smith, an able and experienced railroad 
man and a resourceful fighter. Air. Smith had made all the purchases of the 
lots along the water front in 1898 and the early part of 1899. It was rumored 
that lie was acting for the Northern Pacific and the rumors were verified on 
August I. i8(>9. when both Mr. .'^mith and Mr. Mellen gave the Post-Intelligencer 
interviews outlining the plans of the railway company. It was pro[X)sed to trans- 
form the water front into a great freight yard, necessitating the vacation of 
Western Avenue for its full length, south of University Street, to rearrange 
L'ost and Madison streets, erect a freight shed 850 feet long which would reach 
practically from University Street to Madison Street, and close the ends of 
Seneca and S])ring streets. The depot was to be between Madison and Marion 

Application to vacate the streets came before the city council, and the council- 
men were the center of the fight, which was sim])ly a struggle between the (ireat 
.Northern and the Northern Pacific for the most advantageous terminals in 
Seattle. The Northern Pacific, now quite satisfied that Seattle's trade was worth 
going after, made its proposition, which apjiealed at once to the popular fancy of 
the people, and there was no open opposition to it until the (Ireat Northern made 
itself felt. James J. Hill hurried to Seattle by special train, arriving September 
17th. He expressed himself as follows: 

"With regard to a terminal company and a union deiiot. 1 can say that a 
[)roposition is now before Mr. Mellen which 1 hope will meet with his approval. 
.\ terminal company, to build a union depot, will require hundreds of miles of 
tracks, and where can these be put? Surely not on Railroad Avenue, where they 
would most positively block traffic from the water front. 

■'.Vow, I am in favor of a terminal company and a union depot, but will not 
enter into any arrangement that will block up the water front of Seattle. This 
must be kept open and, therefore, if a union depot is built, it must be on the south 
side at some ])oint at or near King Street. Any place other than this will meet 
with rejection, so that in this matter, as likewise the one I have spoken of, the 
City of Seattle has it all in its own hands." 

"If you put such an obstruction across the front of your city," warned 
Mr. Hill, a day or two later, "you will commit commercial suicide. You cannot 
obstruct traffic without driving traffic away. It would be a grave mistake for 
the city to make. Thus far in your career you have made no mistake; keep the 
record clear." 

Seattle's ability to get greatly excited and stir up a great row within its own 
bonlcrs was ami)ly illustrated while the fight was on. The Post-Intelligencer 
"f December 31, 1899, contained two pages devoted entirely to the controversy. 
' '. J. Smith led off with a lengthy defense of the Mellen plans, and Judce P>urke 


followed with a still lengthier attack on them. Interviews with many prominent 
citizens were published, and, in view of the fact that even the supporters of the 
Xorthern Pacific's proposal must now see the wisdom of its rejection, it is inter- 
esting to note what some of the citizens thought of the matter at that time. 
Stripped of the reasons advanced for their stand, this is how those interviewed 
stood : John Schram, against the prcjposal : l-'.dward I!. Burwell. leaning dubiously 
toward it; J. M. Colman, against; Judge C. H. Hanford, for; Dexter Horton, 
most unequi\'Ocally against granting the Northern Pacific anything; David Gil- 
more, for; Judge Orange Jacobs, against, for the reason that "in the future if 1 
should desire to go to the water front to catch a tomcod, I might be charged 
more for passing o\er pri\ate property than the lish would be worth;" J. B. 
.MacDougall, for; (ieorge Kinnear, against; E. V. Blaine, for; N. H. Latimer, 
against; Samuel Rosenberg, for; l-tobert IL Lindsay, against "the outrage;" 
Albert Hansen, for; Judge J. J. Aldiilvra. against; Julius Redelsheimer, for; 
I\ol)ert .\brams, against; Herman L'hajiin, for; Judge James M. Epler, against; 
Capt. I'^lmer E. Caine, for; I.. C ( iilman (later Mr. Hill's attornev), for; L. 
Schoenfeld, for; Clinton A. Harrison, for; James D. Hoge, for; J. \\". Clise, for. 

The interviews are given in the order in \\hich they are ]iublishe(l in the 
Post-Intelligencer. It will be noticed that with great impartialitv the paper 
alternated the "for" and "against" interviews until they ran out of "againsts." 
In view of the fact that the population of the city is now ( igi6) over three 
hundred thousand it is interesting to note that in the lengthy presentation of his 
views Judge Ikirke stated his belief that he would live to see the ])opulation of 
the city 250,000. 

When the time came, early in Kpo, for the council to take action, both sides 
presented their cases. Judge Burke reviewed the history of the Xorthern Pacific's 
early antagonism to Seattle and asked the councilmen from whom thev expected 
they would get the better treatment, the comjiany that has all its interests in 
Tacoma and had always fought Seattle, or Tames J. Hill, who had long since 
proved his friendship for the city. 

After the cx)uncil meeting at which the matter was disposed of, Judge Burke 
went to a telegraph office and wrote this message to Mr. Hill ; 

"City c"ouncil stood by you 12 to i. and the one came in to make it unanimous." 

It was said at the St. Paul offices of the road that no telegram ever received 
there gave Mr. Hill more pleasure. It bore a message, subtle but emjihatic, 
of Seattle's faith in James J. Hill and its refusal to be induced, even by a toy 
which it long had prayed for, to do anything that might embarrass the Hill ])lans 

An echo of that fight was heard in New York some years later. "I see you 
are planning to enter Seattle," said Mellen to E. H. Harriman. 

"Yes, what about it?" replied Harriman. 

'Well," said Mellen, "I've been out there and am pretty well posted. If you 
want to get into that city you had better first get the permission of Judge Burke. 
He is Jim Hill's attorney." 

Mr. Harriman related the incident when on a visit to .Seattle about the time 
his road entered the city. 

There being no further worlds to conquer, the Great Northern, being an 
accomplished fact and the depot question lying dormant once again, Judge Burke 


decided to go to Europe for a rest. On liis way through St. Paul he called on 
.Mr. Hill. 

"Judge," said the railroad president, "I want you to look at these maps. I 
think 1 will run a tunnel right through there and give yoin- ])c<iple a depot right 
ilure. \\ iiat do you think about it!'"' 

"Magnilicent !" exclaimed the attorney. "But it will take a lot of work. I'll 
'-.'I' right back and begin." 

"I'm sorry tt) interrupt yuur tri]) to luirope," said .Mr. iiill. 

"Not at all," rei)lied the judge. "My neighbors will be glad to see me back 
with such news as this." 

\\ hen Judge liurke returned to ."^tattle he announced the proi)osed boring of 
the tunnel, which now passes under the business section and reaches the tidelands 
upon which Hill constructetl his terminals. A large number of private owners 
had to be seen, and in every case where there was liable to be any friction the 
property was purchased outright. It is an interesting sidcligiit on the early 
history of the tunnel that the Great Northern had more trouble with the city 
council than it did with any private owner; but at last every obstacle was swept 
aside and the construction of the tunnel commenced in 1902. It was completed 
in 1905. and the first trains run through it to the magnificent station that now 
serves both the Great Northern and the Northern Pacitic. 

This two-track passage beneath the city is Seattle's salvation from a trans- 
jjortation standpoint. It allows freight and ])asscnger trains to enter the city 
without disturbing traffic on Railiijad .\venuc, that thoroughfare being confined 
solely to the exchange of freight between cars and ships. It is now apparent 
that the city would surely have committed commercial suicide if the ])rojecl of the 
Northern Pacific to erect a de|)Ot on the waterfront had been ])ermitted. 

Such is the history of the Great Northern's coming to Seattle. Time has 
shown that every ste]) ever taken by Mr. Hill could not have been taken with 
more regard to the city's welfare had he been working for the! city instead of 
for the railroad company, lie. indeed, has been a powerful friend of .'^cattle. 

Judge Purke made his delayed tri]) to Kuroi)e. On his wav through ."-^t. Paul 
on the second attem])t, he again called on Mr. Hill. 

"I'm through," said the attorney, "and am going for a good, long rest. Out 
in Seattle is just the man you want for my successor. His name is I.. C. Gil- 
nian, and you will be lucky if you can get him." 

Mr. Hill got him. and Mr. Gilman has shown such exceptional abilitv as a 
railway man that he is, in Kjif), ])resident of the S])okane & Portland Railway, 
an imjxjrtant Hill line, and there is every indication that he will rise even higher 
in the railway worM. lie is a brother, it is interesting to note, of Daniel Hunt 
Gilman. who ])layed such a ]ironiinent ])art in the Scittle, Lake .Shore X- I'.ast- 
ern, as heretofore related. 

To sum up the benefits conferred on Seattle and the whole Northwest bv the 
construction of the Great Northern a quotation is given from a s])cech delivered 
by Judge Burke at the launching of the Steamship Minnesota, still the world's 
greatest cargo carrier, ;it the .\'ew I.(]nd<)n. ( Unii.. shijivard--. April iC>, ]<)0.^- 
Said the judge: 

"The important event of the launching of the Minnesota impresses me like 
thp fulfillment of a prophecy, or the realization of a wonderful dream. It is now 


soniLlliing more than twelve years since, in the course of an evening's conversa- 
tion at St. I'anl, Mr. James J. Hill outlined to me a plan, a system of transporta- 
tion by land and by water which would reach from New York to Y'okohama and 
Hongkong. As the details of the project were laid before me, the boldness of 
the conception and the colossal character of the undertaking made me think that 
.the author was dreaming, or giving me a chapter -out of some new Arabian . 
Nights ; but, as events soon showed, it proved to be no idle dream, for with 
unexampled energy and rapidity the new railway line was pushed forward in its 
course across the continent, over two great ranges of mountains, across to the 
shores of Puget Sound. Never before had so stupendous an enterprise been 
undertaken and successftdly carried through without Government aid. The 
country for more than half the distance was still in its primeval state. 

"The reputed wise men of the day characterized the enterprise as foolhardy 
and predicted disaster as the result. Under the kind of railway management 
that formerly prevailed, the ])rediction might have been verified; but a new and 
original force had arisen in the world of transportation and of commerce, one 
who united in himself the imagination to conceive, the power and energy to 
execute and the practical wisdom sticcessfully to manage and direct great enter- 
prises, a combination of qualities rarely found united in the same person. Long 
before the last spike was driven on the shores of Puget Sound, wise and ener- 
getic measures were taken to secure the early and rapid settlement of the coun- 
try. The best class of settlers from the eastern states, and from among the most 
thrifty and industrious jMpulations of Europe, were encouraged to seek homes 
in this new lanfl by unusually low rates for home-seekers and for their house- 
hold goods, by timely advice and aid in the selection of the place for the future 
settlement and by the thousand and one little attentions which go so far to smooth 
the way for the unfamiliar stranger. And now, in less than a decade, what was 
practically a wild and uninhabited country has been transformed as if by magic 
into cultivated and productive farms, supporting in comfort and independence 
hundreds of thousands of people, with towns, villages and cities springing up all 
along the line of the raihvay and with the little schoolhouse and the church in 
sight of almost every farm. 

"It was, as you know, the opinion of tlie celebrated dean of St. Patrick's 
that 'Whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow 
upon a spot of groimd where only one grew "oefore would deserve better of man- 
kind and do more essential service to his country than the whole race of jioliticians 
init together.' 

"Judged by this standard, the soundness of which few will be found to ques- 
tion, there is no man of this generation, at home or abroad, who deserves better 
of mankind, or has done more essential ser\ice to his country than James J. 
Hill. Twenty-five years ago he found the Northwest, between Minnesota and 
Puget Sound, practically a wild, uninhabited and inaccessible country. A con- 
siderable section of it used to be set down in the old geographies as a part of the 
Great .American Desert. Yet, largely owing to his superior knowledge of the real 
character and capabilities of this new land, and through his wonderful energy and , 
ability in providing for it, even in advance of population, the most judiciously 
planned, the most economically constructed and the most wisely managed line 
of railwav that ever served a new country, that region has. in less than fifteen 


years, given four new states to the Union with an aggregate population of more 
tlian one milHon live hundred thousand people. 

"If it be true that pliilaiuhropy looks to the promotion of human welfare by 
preventing the suffering or improving the condition of large numbers of peo- 
ple, then the truest expression of ])hilanlhropy, the one that is dearest to the 
human heart, is that which helps thousands and tens of thousands of self-respect- 
ing men and women to help themselves ; is that which opens the way for the 
deserving and industrious thousands of other and less happy lands to provide 
homes of comfort and inde])cn<lence for themselves and for their families; to 
secure for their children and their children's children the inestimable oppor- 
tunity of education and of making careers of usefulness and honor under the 
beneficent influences of a free government. 

"What greater sen^ice than this can any one render to his fellow men? Yet, 
to James J. Hill belongs this rare distinction. lie has opened the door of oppor- 
tunity literally to hundreds of thousands of people now^ living in lia])py homes 
of their own who, without his labors to open the way for and to help them, might 
today be numbered among the homeless. This, in brief, is the real character of 
the services rendered by James J. Hill to his country and to mankind." 

-At the time this speech was delivered the Government was proceeding against 
the Xorthern Securities Company, which had been organized by Mr. Hill for the 
purpose of bringing under one management the Great Xorthern, Xorthern Pacific 
and Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroads, thus making a transi)ortation sys- 
tem that could reach from the cotton producing states of the South to the lum- 
ber regions of the Northwest. This organization, being operated in close con- 
nection with Mr. Hill's steamship line across the Pacific, made a transjiortation 
'•vstem by land and sea of unsurpassed power, efficiency and economy. About 
this lime the railways of the country had fallen into popular disfavor and the 
people looked with suspicion and alarm at the growth of the roads. At this 
juncture the Government stepped in and caused the dissolution of the Northern 

urities, following up this action with suits against other companies. 

Vol. I— l,s 


But for a relic here and there, the present water system of Seattle gives 
the newer citizen little understanding of the primiti\e facilities that obtained in 
the early days of the city's development. Vet, in those times it was no question 
of scarcity of water. The site of the city fairly teemed with springs of pure, 
sparkling water. r>ut they were spread over an extended area and the question 
of conveying the \isible supply, as the settlement grew, created a problem the 
citizens, with limited means and no overland transportation facilities, could with 
difficulty overcome. 

The battle for the conquest of Xattire's gifts, which has today reached stich 
l^erfect consummation, was begim with the installation of the first water system 
by Elenry L. Yesler. It consisted in the building of a very small tank just 
north of Yesler Way, between Third and Fourth avenues. The water was 
conducted to Yesler's mill at the foot of the street in an open trough. The 
stream from which this was taken, also furnished waterpower for Woodin's 
tannery, which then stood on the site of the present Prefontaine Building. 
It was with this supply that the first sluicing of earth by water was done. This 
stream had its source in a depression at a point near Eighth Avenue and Madi- 
son Street, extending southwesterly, toward h^ourth Avenue and Yesler Way 
and thence continuing down to the tide flats. 

The first supply pipe system was built by Rev. Daniel Bagley for the purpose 
of furnishing water to the University district on the hill. The pipes were 
made by Lemuel Bills, who took fir logs, bored them with a hand auger and 
then joined the sections together with wooden spigots. Some two thousand feet 
of this sujjply pipe was made and laid for this system, which obtained its water 
supply from a spring near Sixth Avenue and L'niversity Street. 

Later, Yesler built a small box in the creek at the corner of Seventh A\eiuie 
and Cherry Street and conveyed water to two tanks, about 20 by 40 feet in 
size, on the south side of James Street, between Eifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. 
He also had another source of supply at Seventh Avenue and Columbia Street. 
This was called the Lowman Spring. The spring at the corner of Seventh and 
Cherry is still flowing through a three-quarter-inch pipe and in emergencies 
during the past few years the residents in that vicinity have secured their supply 
of water from it. In 191 1, when the Cedar River supply was temporarily cut 
oil, this water was analyzed and found pure. There is now a drinking fountain 
at this point. 

Gradually the available sources of water supply came to be utilized. James 
AIcNaught constructed a system covering the territory between Sixth and Eighth 
Avenues South and Lane and Dearborn streets. This system supplied about one 
hundred homes, but was taken over some years later by the Spring Hill Water 



( onipany and disconnected fruni its source. W. 1. \\'a<lleif;;h also liad a sniall 
system at l-'ifth Avenue and Columbia Street. 

'I'he Denny-McConibs water system was built by James McCombs, who 
drove a \)\\)c horizontally into the hill for a distance of 150 feet at Xinth .\ venue 
and Union Street, and secured an ample supply of water for the people in that 
\icinity. Here, bored wooden pipes were also used at first. 

The Coppin system, which secured its sup])ly from a deejj well on the block 
just south of the present Saint James' Catholic Cathedral, took care of 300 
houses. This system was purchased by tlie city in iS</^ from De.xtcr Horton 
& Company for a consideration of $200. 

One of the largest of the old plants was that of the L'niun Water .'^\slcni. 
which was incoriwraled in l'\l)ruary, 1882, by D. T. Denny, lulgar liryan, 
Walter Graham, Samuel T. MiJiiani. James McCombs and William T. Craham. 
This concern secured its su|iply from sjjrings near Fourth .Vvenue North and 
Ward Street, the present location of the Queen Anne i'umping Station. The 
>|)ring supi)lied only 80,000 gallons per day and since this was not enough a 
well was sunk to a distance of 348 feet at the top of Queen Anne I [ill. It 
-n|)i)lied the territory to the south of the hill as far as Uallcry l^trcei. Ibis 
-ystem was purchased by the city in 1891. 

The Griflfith system, built by L. H. Griffith in i8,SS, had its source on the norili 
sidfe of Queen Anne Hill and furnished water for the largest ])art of i'reniont. 
Its right of way was condemned for the Lake Washington Canal in iSijj .nid 
city water took its place. 

'I'he Kinnear system was installed in 1888 and -npiilied all of G. Kinnear's 
Supjilemental .Addition. It is still in ojieration anil provides the stream for an 
iirnaniental fountain on the lawn of the Kiiniear residence on Queen .Anne 
Avenue. The water has been analyzed many times and has always shown 
ihe highest ]3ercentage of purity. Two other extensive systems were the \ils 1!. 
i'eterson system, built in i8(X), covering the territory on the .southwest slo]je 
of Queen Anne Hill, known as the Crown .Addition, and adjacent territ(jry. 
-Another Peterson system was instrdled on the north slope of this hill by .inollur 
person of the same name. 

In the suburban territory of Seattle were systems which began o])crali()ns 
-nl)se<|uent to the year 1890. All of them were cither purchased by the city 
within the past decade or were donated or abandoned. In njo- the city acquirefl 
the Ballard system; in ](jo8 the llomeseekers' system, ihc Uainier Valley .system, 
.111(1 the Columbia system; in 1910, a part of the Georgetown system and the 
I-airmount system in West Seattle, as well as the Euclid 1 leights system in the 
latter district in IQ12. During the years 1900 to 1913 the South Se.ittle, Kenyon 
Street, Union Trust Company, Lake Washington Mill. Xils I'eterson, Northern 
Pacific and Great Northern, the A'ork and Montana .\dditions systems were 
either acquired by the city, free of charge, or abandoned by the owners, .\nother 
suburban system, the last of those displaced, was that of the West Seattle Land 
\- hni)ro\emenl Coni]iany, which owned a sjiring in a gulch on the )iorth end 
slope of the West l^idc I'lninsnl.i. This system supjilied the entire luirtli end of 
th;it district from about 1883 until i(;ii. 

Hut the largest of all the early systems w;is that of ilie Siniiig llill Water 
' onipany. This concern was incorporated on .August 20, 1881, with a capital 


of $25,000, the trustees being Louis Sohns, T. H. Cann, Amasa S. Aliller, T. 
Hanford. Louis R. Sohns and J. R. Lewis. It secured its first supply from the 
west slope of First Hill, erecting various tanks towards the south end of the city. 
These tanks were square wooden ones. A few of the smaller systems were 
purchased, among them the McNaught and Yesler systems. The company built 
the Lake Washington pumping station and the Beacon Hill reservoir in 1886. 
The reservoir occupied a whole block between Thirteenth and Fourteenth ave- 
nues South and Holgate and Plum streets at an elevation of 312 feet. The 
capacity was 4,280,000 gallons. The water was pumped into it from a station 
at the foot of Holgate Street on Lake Washington through a 12-inch Kalemein 
force pipe. It was in connection with the operations of this company that the 
city passed its first ordinance specifying water rates, defining obligations and 
duties of the water company and granting privileges to lay water mains along 
certain streets. This ordinance, Number 253, was signed in November, 1881, 
by John Collins, acting mayor. The Spring Hill system in the following year 
passed into the hands of John Leary and associates. The company, by another 
ordinance, was given the right to lay mains over all the streets and alleys in the 
city. The same privileges were extended to the other companies. 

The spirit 'of combat has always been strong in the hearts of Seattle people. 
When danger from the outside menaced them they fought shoulder to shoulder 
in defense of their views; when something of a purely domestic nature came up 
they fought with one another before finally deciding how to dispose of the 
subject. One of the most dramatic local fights was that which was practically 
settled on December 10, 1895, when the people approved by their votes the plan 
to secure the city's water from Cedar River. Even after the vote was canva.ssed 
the fight was carried on in the courts and it was not till January 10, 1901, that 
the Cedar Ri\er water was first distributed in .Seattle. Today the water system 
is one of the city's greatest assets and it must always be so for there is no other 
city in the world that can boast a more magnificent supply of pure water. Yet, 
when it was proposed to secure this source of sujjply, a most determined fight 
against it was waged by thoughtless, loyal citizens who were jiersuaded that 
Seattle was committing a grave blunder in adopting the ordinance presented to 
the \oters. It was due to the masterly fighting qualities of Reginald H. Thomson 
that the fight was won. 

The honor of being the first of record to suggest that Cedar River should 
be the ultimate source of suj)ply for Seattle's water system belongs to the 
Finback, which predicted, in an article published December 25, 1880, by Stewart 
& Ebersold, that Cedar River would eventually be the source of the city's water 
supply. In 1881 F. H. Whitworth: while serving as city surveyor, went on record 
as favoring Cedar River. In 1889 Mayor Roljert Moran jjersuaded the city 
council to employ Benezette Williams, a prominent engineer of Chicago, to 
investigate and report on Cedar River as a source of supply. Mr. Williams made 
his surveys and prepared a report indicating Rock Creek, a smaller tributary of 
Cedar River, as the more advantageous source. Mr. Whitworth urged Williams 
to continue his survey up the Cedar River and Williams did this, with the result 
that he withdrew his first report and went on record as favoring Cedar River. 

He recommended that the city convey the water to Swan Lake in an open 
flume, running pipes underground only where the topography made it necessary. 












-I pa? 


Jn 1888 the city had decided by a vote of the taxpayers to build a system, Inn 
the plans were checked in 1889 wlien the territory became a state and the 
borrowing power of the cities of the first class was limited to an extent that 
Seattle had already exceeded, as following the tire of 1889, a tremendous amount 
of money was spent in rebuilding the city. 

The Spring Hill water system was purchased by the city in January, 1890, 
for the consideration of $352,265.67. To bind the bargain a cash payment of 
.S2,265.67 was made and the balance was paid after the sale of the $845,000 bond 
issue, authorized by the electors on June 4, 1890, had been effected. The vote 
stood 705 for and sixteen against these bonds, which, while small, indicated a 
practically unanimous desire for a unified and city-owned system that should 
ifford better fire protection and a continuous supply of water. The final pay- 
ment for this sj'stem was made on October 31, 1890. On .August 15, 1891, the 
L'nion Water Company system was also purchased from the proceeds of these 
bonds. When this plant had been paid for it cost the city $28. ^tx). The balance 
of the money available was used for betterments and extensions in the ])umping 
.md distributing systems. Pumps were immediately j)urchased and added to 
the station on Lake Washington, which l)riiut;!n ihe daily capacity up to 4,300.000 

In a letter to tlie council on August 11. i8ijo. Chief Engineer r'.enczette Wil- 
liams, describing what had thus far been done, called attention to the fact that 
the ])umping system thus contemplated would be but a makeshift, barely sufficient 
to supply the low-service district for about two' years. He declared there was 
no alternative consistent with the safety of the city l)ul to enter at an c.irly date 
n])on the building of the Cedar River works as jiroposed. or to defniitely abandon 
this plan and begin the construction of entirely new works, force mains and 
reservoirs to supply fully both the high and low-ser\ice districts from Lake 

He made it clear that the city had to decide ujjou one or the other .ind tiie 
subsequent years have proved that the decision in favor of the gravity system 
was the wise one. In the meantime, however, the installation of additional pumps 
at the lake had increased the daily cajjacity to io,oc«,ooo gallons. This important 
development in the city water system took place during the administration of 
Mayor Robert Moran. who was elected in 1888. As a member of the city council 
in 1887 he became thoroughly familiar with the water supjily and fire i)roteclion 
needs of the city, and wlun he took the mayor's chair he immediately urged 
])ublic ownershi]) of the water sui)])ly and the coustrudioii of the gravity system 
from Cedar Ri\er. 

However, in 1892, a second bond issue was authorized by a three-fifths 
vote to the ainouiU of ,$205,000 to cover additions to tiie pum])ing system then 
in existence. 

Mr. Thom.son became city engineer in 1892. One of the first tasks he under- 
took was the develo]Mnent of the Cedar River water su])ply. In this he had the 
enthusiastic support of 11. R. Clise, chairman of the fire and water connnittce 
of the board of aldermen in 1894. The outlook was not reassuring as there seemed 
to be no way of raising the necessary money. One day, in the course of the 
routine of his law ])ractise, Mr. Clise was reading the rejiorts of the State 
Supreme Court decisions, and ran across one prompted him to speedily 


summon Thomson and Will H. Parry, ihen city comptroller, into conference 
with him. This decision upheld the legality of an ordinance passed by the voters 
of Spokane who sought to build a water system with money obtained through 
the sale of warrants, redeemable from the receipts of the water itself. The 
court held that this was a charge against the system and did not increase the 
bonded indebtedness of the city. Clise. Thomson and Parry agreed that Seattle's 
opportunity had come, and a plan of campaign was at once decided upon. 

Mr. Thomson appointed George F. Cotterill to make a complete report on the 
engineering problems inxolved in the construction of the Cedar River system, and 
work was begun on the preparation of an ordinance for submission to the council. 
No public announcement of any kind was made and not a dozen people in 
Seattle knew that any steps were being taken by the city to secure Cedar River 
water for Seattle. The reason for this secrecy was the activity of a private 
company which hoped to develop the same source of supply for itself, and sell 
both water and power to the people of Seattle. The company was organized 
by Edward H. Ammidown, who had lately arrived in Seattle from Xew York. 
He enlisted the supjiort of almost all the financially strong men of the city, applied 
to the city council for an ordinance granting his company a franchise to lay its 
mains and authorizing the sale to the company of all the city's then existing 
waterworks property. James A. James, chairman of the fire and water committee 
of the house of delegates, had joined the Thomson-Clise-Parry alliance and the 
Ammidown application did not make particularly rapid progress before the 
council, although great pressure was brought to bear in the effort to have the city 
pass the necessary legislation. 

Finally Cotterill's report was ready. Chairman Clise called his committee 
together and read the rejjort which he proposed to ]:)resent to the council that 
night. The committee appro\ed the report, and that evening a joint session 
of the board of aldermen and the house of delegates was held and Mr. Clise 
read his report recommending the construction of the Cedar River water system 
by the city. 

The fight was then on. The Ammidown forces were taken completely by 
surprise by this movement. They abandoned that part of their proposal relating 
to the distribution of water by them to the consumers in the city and substi- 
tuted for it an offer to sell the city water in bulk at its limits, leaving to the city 
the task of distribution. It so happened that most of the substantial and 
[jrominent citizens either became members of this company or shared its views, 
for the fight developed into one between the big interests of the city and the 
so-called common people. Mr. Thomson entered the struggle with the indomi- 
table will that made him master of the situation as long as he remained city 
engineer. With the two proposals presented to the city government pressure 
was brought to bear by the champions of each. It was a bitter struggle but 
finally in the summer of 1895 the ordinance was passed, only to be vetoed by 
Mayor Byron Phelps, who objected to the wording of one clause. As soon as 
his veto was handed down. Thomson. James and Clise started work on a new 
ordinance which conformed to the mayor's views and it was passed and signed, 
and ])rovided for an election on December 10, 1895. 

The fight was then carried to the people and it was waged with a fury 
scarcely equalled in any other campaign that the city has experienced. All the 

r^r .'^Ip 



rase. > ' , \Sr^1&.^. 



prominent moneyed men were arrayed against the ordinance and every news- 
paper in the city sided with them. The Fost-Intelligencer dubbed the supporters 
of the ordinance "crass-headed idiots" and the name stuck to them throngliout 
the campaign. There were many good men on both sides of the liglit, InU all 
the money seemed to be on one side. The supporters of the private company 
hired lialls and held nightly meetings and their o])])onents had no com])rehensive 
methods of reaching the people with their arguments. Mr. Clise, .Mr. James, 
Doctor Young and others did their best on behalf of the ordinance, while Mr. 
Thomson sat back and provided them with the ammunition. 

.\mong the broadsides tired at the ordinance through the ])apcrs was one 
from Judge John J- McGilvra. It discouraged Thomson more than anv other 
argument had done. Judge McCiiKra stood high in the comniunily and was 
known as a man of unimpeachable integrity and sound oi)inioii. II is argument 
was the most masterly one thus far advanced and if his jiremises were correct 
it was unanswerable. It appeared about si.xty days l)cf(}ie ihc election was to 
take place. 

.Mr. Thomson went to the telephone and calli.<l up Judge .McOilvra. 

".Mr. McGilvra." he .said, "this is Thomson. I have just read your article 
in the I'ost-Intelligencer. It is the most logical arraigmuent of our ordinance 
yet advanced. I want to talk it over with you. We arc both working for the 
same end, the good of the city, and if after we consult you can show where 
I am wrong I will write a letter to the newspapers advising the people to vote 
against the ordinance and will withdraw from the tight. .May I see you today?'' 

"Come up at i t o'clock this morning," said McGilvra. 

I'^or five days the two men discussed the question from every standpoint, and 
at the expiration of that time, Mr. Thomson, at Judge McGilvra's suggestion, 
prepared a brief. 

"I will also ])repare a brief," said .McGilvra, and sul)mil it with yours to 
myself as judge and then will let you know luy position." 

"I will do nothing more in the tight then until I hear from you." said Thomson. 

Every morning thereafter for five long and restless weeks Thomson eagerly 
scanned the paper but no word came from McGilvra. True to his promise 
Thomson had withdrawn from the fight and ])rovided no more ammunition for 
the champions of the ordinance. Finally, about three weeks before the election, 
the morning paper bore a message in large type to the effect that McGilvra had 
changed his opinion and that now he was uiiequixocally for the ordinance. 
Thomson went to him. 

"What is the next step?" asked McGilvra. 

"1 don't know," re])lied Thomson. "I li,i\e done nothing since I saw you 
last and am ready to take your orders. We have no money to carry on a fight 
such as the other people are making." 

"Don't let money stand in your way," said McGilvra, "do everything that 
is necessary and send the bills to me." 

.McCiilvra then organized a number of speakers in favor of the ordinance, 
hired halls and bands and paid for everything out of his own pocket. .\ spirited 
caiupaign in favor of the ordinance w-as waged with the result that it carried 
by a \ote of 2,656 in its favor to 1,663 against it. • 

^o bitter had been the tight that the morning after the election McGih ra 


met Arthur A. Denny on the street and in spite of the fact that for nearly thirty 
vears McGihra had been the personal attorney for the elder Denny the latter 
refused to speak to him. AlcGilvra, Thomson and others were assailed by many 
prominent citizens as wreckers of the city. Into the courts the champions of 
the private company carried the matter and it pursued its way to the Supreme 
Court before the action of the people was tinally legally ratified and the 81,250.000 
which the ordinance provided for became available for construction. 

This fight is interesting, not only as a record of the acquisition by the city of 
its matchless water supply, but is significant as a sidelight on the honest errors 
men can make, for there is no one man today who opposed the ordinance who 
will not acknowledge that it would have been the grossest folly to have defeated 
it. The growth of the city would have made intolerable the contract with the 
private company had it been accepted and it would forever have pre^•ented the 
city from enjoying the full benefit which its alnmdance of water and cheap 
power gives it today. 

The greatest ser\ice which Keginald 11. Thomson performed in relation to 
the water supply of the City of Seattle was his relentless, unceasing struggle 
for the maintenance of its purity. That Seattle is today the healthiest city 
in the world is due primarily to the excellence of her water. Long before he 
became city engineer Mr. Thomson realized that of equal importance to secur- 
ing Cedar River and Lake as a source of supply was the acquiring of sufficient 
land in the watershed to provide for all time against any contamination of the 
water itself. At times when it was charged that his activities were the outgrowth 
of an impracticable dream, he urged the purchase of lands in the watershed. 
In season and out of season, the relentless pursuit of the idea went on and that 
today Seattle owns 80,000 acres of land, which gives it control of the basin 
in which its water supply lies, is due solely to the foresight, determination 
and perseverance of Mr. Thomson. He has saved the city the many millions of 
dollars it would ultimately have had to spend, an expense all other great cities 
of the world have had to meet to keep their water pure. As other cities have 
grown they have been compelled to spend immense sums to acquire lands tribu- 
tary to the water supply, a contingent overlooked at the time the source of supply 
was obtained. When Seattle was little more than a village Thomson saw that 
the time would come when it would number millions and all the work he did for 
its water supply was predicated on that belief. He built the foundation so well 
that never in the history of Seattle can its water supply give any concern. 

On December ij, 1895, the mayor signed the ordinance which authorized the 
condemnation of the right-of-way for the Cedar River water supply system and 
marked the beginning of the present system. 

The final plans and specifications for the construction of the Cedar River 
supply system were prepared and the work carried out under the supervision of 
City Engineer R. H. Thomson. Henry W. Scott, his first assistant, had general 
charge of the field work, especially supervising the construction of bridges and 
the wooden barrel-stave pipe. E. W. Cummings was intrusted with the super- 
vision of the construction of the diverting weir and settling basin at Lands- 
burg. Steel pipe construction was handled by Col. M. W. Glenn, and the 
\'olunteer Park and Lincoln Park reservoirs by Andrew Jackson and George N. 
Alexander, respectively. 


L. I!. Youngs, who was then water superintendent, and who has held that 
])Osition continuously ever since in a most remarkably efficient manner, and 
1". X. I.ittle. superintendent of streets, were always on hand when tests were 
being made, to see that nothing was overlooked. 

The contract was let on April 19, 1899, in two jjarts, one for headworks, 
(lam and pipe line, the other for Eincoln Park and Volunteer Park reservoirs, 
with a standpipe on Queen Anne Hill. The fonner work was done by the 
Pacific Bridge Company, the latter by Smith, Wakefield & David. The entire 
fund available, $1,250,000, was consumed in the contract and the purchase of 
lands. The pipe line was finished and went into commission January, 1901. 
.^oon after its completion it was apparent that it could not be sufficient for a 
very long period owing to the rapid growth of the city. In 1907, the pipe line 
Xo. I. as it is called, although supplying more than twenty-two million gallons 
])er day. barely delivered enough water to meet the summer needs of the city and 
the population was growing by literal leaps and bounds. 

In March, 1908. bonds to the amount of $2,250,000 were voted for ihc build- 
ing of ])ipe line No. 2. Such rapid progress was made after the letting of the 
contract for the construction of this line that on June 21, 1909, water was 
'Iclivcred into the \'olunteer Park reservoir by the new pipe line. 

.\t the present these two ]3ipe lines have a combined delivering capacity of 
'.6,000.000 gallons per day. Already the need is felt for a third aqueduct and 
expansion of the system ; to keep pace with the growth of the city is one of the 
necessities of the near future. P.ut there is the comfortable assurance back of 
it all that no matter how many millions of people ultimately come to Seattle 
to live there will always be more water in Cedar Lake than they can ever use. 

One i)roblem which early began to worry the city was the problem of sanita- 
tion. As the water supply was taken from a mountain stream which drained a 
large watershed it was necessary that the watershed be kept clean. This was not 
so easy when one takes into consideration the fact that the entire watershed 
drained by the river used has a total of 142 square miles, or nearly ninety-one 
thousand acres. The land itself was subject to the will of three landlords, 
-Xorthern Pacific Railroad Com])any, the Federal Government, and private i)arties 
who had already established patents. The city was purchasing such portions as 
it needed for immediate use, but it was doubtful whether the city would ever 
]iossess the immense area which drained into that portion of the river from 
which water was secured. The city had anticipated this prol)leni, and JK-forc 
Cedar River Pipe Line Xo. 1 went into commissicjn. had made application to the 
iimmissioner of the General Land Office at Washington for a temporary wilh- 
liawal from entry, sale, settlement or other disposal, of all lands in the watershed 
-till owned by the United Stales. 

On October 10. 1899. Hon. Dinger Hermann, the commissioner, withdrew all 
the lands then thought to lie in the Cedar River watershed. With more perfect 
surveys, however, a second request for a withdrawal of additional land was 
made necessary. On February 28. 191 1, Senate Pill Xo. 5432 was ])assed and 
ajjijroved by the President, wiilulrawing this additional land. The GovernnKiU. 
however. ref|uired the city to deposit .S8,ooo with the secretary of the interior 
to pay the cost of the surveys made necessary by this withdrawal. The act 
Iirovided that the land should be patented to the city upon jiayment of the \;diic 


of the timber on the land, but the amount paid, however, must not be less than 
the sum of money which would be realized from the sale of the entire area at 
Si. 25 per acre. Since this land is withdrawn from entry, it is not necessary 
that the city purchase it, if it can be kept from being contaminated. 

On March 13, 1899, the Legislature of the State of W ashington passed an 
act (chapter 227, H. B. 430) giving cities and towns within the state jurisdiction 
over all property constituting water supplies of such cities and towns. These 
cities and towns were given the power of appointing special police who might 
patrol the regions used as a water supply with power to arrest those violating any 
of the state laws relating to the above act. The act further provided heavy 
punishments for violators of the act. 

A description of the plant as it existed on January i, 1914, is here given: 

The source of supply is the Cedar River watershed which comprises an area 
of some one hundred and forty-two square miles. In the center of this water- 
shed are several lakes, chief of which is Cedar Lake, having an area of almost 
two square miles. The lands comprising this tract are owned by the City of 
Seattle, the Northern Pacific Railway Company and the Federal Government. 
Cedar Lake has an elevation of over one thousand five hundred feet above 
tidewater and is so placed that it can be used as a basin wherein water can be 
stored for use in the dry season of the year. 

Ihe intake of the pipe lines is located fifteen miles below Cedar Lake, 1V2 
miles north of Ravensdale and was established September 27, 1902. Previous 
to this time the water was taken further up the river. All told, the present 
works in the Cedar River basin is capable of furnishing water for a population 
of 4,000,000. 

On January i, 1915, there were 62.62 miles of 36- and 60-inch main supply 
lines in ojjeration from the headworks. The mains within the city, from 4- to 
42-inch, amounted to 302.34 miles, while there were 84.08 miles of 2- anu 3-inch 
mains. The consumption of water amounted to 27,000,000 gallons per day, dur- 
ing the winter months, this being increased to abo\e forty million gallons during 
summer months. 

According to the annual report of L. B. "Youngs, sui)enntendent of the water 
department, the total cost of the water system at the close of 191 5. was $12,387,- 
800.82, exclusive of real estate. This was after deducting $1,993,186.96 for 

The total revenue for 1914 was $934,558.17, and the net surplus for that 
year $274,414.11. For 1915, the total revenue was $953,031.03, and the net 
surplus $284,783.75, a gain for the year of $10,369.64. 

The operation and maintenance costs during the year amounted to $263,- 
68_|.o8; reconstruction costs, $17,771.89; interest charges, $235,653.06. Bonds 
and warrants were redeemed to the amount of $248,586.40 ; real estate purchased 
cost .51,541.97: construction costs paid out of rexenues amounted to $96,679.88. 






As long as Seattle remained a doulitful \illage and sawmill town of slim popu- 
lation little could be expected in the way of parks. The citizens were still living 
in liic wilderness or quite near to it and nature was a familiar object to them. 
However, there were a few citizens who lalicvcd tliat ihe day would come when 
the beauties of nature would be removed to make way for stern buildings and 
hard paved streets. In 1884 David T. Denny and his wife donated to the city for 
park purposes a five-acre tract in North ."^calllc. 'Ihis. tlu' first park, was at first 
called Seattle Cemetery and Seattle I'ark, but its name was afterwards changed 
to Denny Park, in honor of its donors. In 1887 George Kinnear and his wife. 
moved by the same benevolent ])urpose, gave a second tract of land (if about 
fourteen acres situated on a lii.i;h bhilT which overlooks I'.Iliolt i!av from the west 
slope of Uueen .\nne Hill. 

\ery little was done during the early years by the city in the way of improving 
its lands, but considerable sentiment and community spirit had been awakened bv 
these gifts and in the same year that the Kinnear tract was donated liie citv 
ac(|uire(I what is now \ (liuntecr I'ark. Init wJiicJi was iju-n caJicci Lake \icw i'ark. 
Three years later, in 18(^1. SeattleV greatest i)ark was purchased and named Wood- 
land Park. Had any real estate promotor jjurchased the land for si)eculation he 
would have been considered a good investor; Imt liie criticism then aroused by 
the |)urchase is only an indication that iniblic sentiment for jiarks was in its in- 
fancy. It was an ideal spot for a park as it was pos.sessed of level land for 
recreation, water for boating, and forest for retreat and meditation. 

The .'leed of. Seattle's present jnirk sy.stem was planted but before any great 
growth could be ho|)ed for it was necessary that more efhciency be ol)tained in 
the management and control. Prom 1884 to \H<)0 there was no board of p.irk 
commissioners such as v/e arc familiar with today; the city council exercised the 
control and the actual care devolved ui)on the street department, which was 
already overburdened with its own work. In 1890, however, the form of govern- 
ment under which the city had been operating was changed by virtue of statehood 
having been recently conferred ui)on Washington Territory, and under the new 
form of government the iVeeholders' fiiarler (discussed elsewhere in this his- 
tory), a board of ])ark commissioners having certain duties and powers was 

Ihe control of the i)arks was vested in a jiark commission consisting of five 
members who were to receive an annual salary of S.^cxj. to be paid out of the 
I'ark Fund, and to hold office for a ])eriod of five years, except that the first 
live commissioners were to be a|)pointcd for ])eriods of five, four, three, two 
and one years, respectively, and all succeeding commissioners to be appointed 
for a term of five years, appointments to be m.ide on the first Monday in January 



of each year by the mayor with the advice and consent of the board of aldermen. 
Each commissioner was to give bond in the sum of $5,000. 

A park fund was established to consist of the proceeds from the sale of Ijonds 
issued for that purpose; gifts, iiequests and devises of persons; such appropri- 
ations as the city council might make from time to time, and 10 per cent of the 
gross recei]jts from all lines, penalties and licenses. The city covmcil, under the 
terms of the Freeholders' Charter, might issue bonds for park purposes up to the 
sum of $100,000 at any one time. The park commission was given full and 
exclusive power to control, manage and supervise the parks of the city and to 
spend the moneys in the park fund. Where bonds were issued for the purchase 
of lands for park purposes the park commission was authorized to go ahead and 
make the terms and conditions of purchase, but no jiurchase could be made with- 
out the confirmation of both houses of the city council. 

The park commission was authorized to appoint a superintendent of parks 
and such other officers and employes as necessary. 

A short time after, in May, 1892, the jjark commission secured the ser\-ices 
of a professional architect, engineer and landscape gardener, Mr. E. O. Schwagerl, 
as superintendent of parks. Mr. Schwagerl had been in the employ of cities 
like St. Louis and Cleveland and was well recommended for the work. His 
report to the park commission soon after his engagement constitutes one of the 
most important documents in connection with the history of Seattle's park system, 
fie recommended that Seattle take thought for her future growth and plan in 
advance just what areas might and ought to be taken up. He further recom- 
mended that the laying out of the streets and boulevards ought to be along some 
well thought plan, not arbitrary with the owner of the new addition, or after 
some arbitrary map plan, but in keeping with the topography of the land itself. 
The park commission, itself, for this year, gave statistics upon studies made in 
other cities, showing that parks were able to pay their way; that the real estate 
surrounding parks became more valuable, and that the increased taxable values 
more than offset the cost of the parks and the expense of upkeep. 

One would naturally expect that under this new system much progress would 
be made, but as a matter of fact things moved very slowly. The park commission 
was too dependent upon the city council, politics permeated the entire work. 
During the years 1890 to 1904 twenty-fotir park commissioners sat upon a board 
of five ; few served their full term and many resigned after a year or so of service. 
Statistics show that the commissioner tisually resigned just at the time when he 
was getting most efficient, .\gain, during this period, there were four park super- 
intendents; three of these served for periods of two years or less, while only one 
served a term sufficiently long to do any constructive work. 

For the purpose of adding efficiency to the park commission the citizens of 
Seattle in 1904 sought to remedy the situation and drafted an amendment which 
they submitted to the people and which was adopted but not without the opposition 
of the city council which fought if at every step. The amendment gave to the 
park commission a greater independence in all matters of park jurisdiction and 
provided for a larger park fund. 

A part of this movement for greater efficiency manifested itself in the hiring 
by the park commission in 1903 of an expert landscape gardener to make a 
thorough survey of Seattle's park possibilities and to draw up a comprehensive 



[jlaii which could be followed in all future work. The person secured was J. C. 
Olmsted, of Olmsted Brothers, landscape architects, Brookline, Mass. Mr. 
Olmsted, after a most thorough survey, outlined a plan which was practicable 
and yet which, if carried out, would come close to a realization of Seattle's park 
possibilities. His report was accepted by the city council October 19, 1903, and 
in the main has been followed by succeeding commissioners. 

The park commission, equipped with a scientilic working plan, and enjoying 
independence from politics and the confidence of the people of Seattle, set to 
work to develop the city's park possibilities. The people responded generously. 
In 1905 $500,000 was voted; in 1908 $1,000,000; in 1910 $2,000,000, and in 1912 
S500.000. Most of this money has been spent in the acquisition of new areas in 
accordance with the Olmsted plan. 

The ]iark commissioners, 1884 to 1913. are: 


1 ). T. Denny 1884-188 

j. 1;. Metcalfe 1884-1887 

\V. E. Boone .' 1887-1890 

C. M. Sheafe 1887-1889 

il. O. Haller 1887-1889 

( . W. Lawton 1889-1890 

Daniel Jones 1890-1892 

W. E. I'.urgess 1890-1893 

Abram I'.arker 1890-1893 

\V. E. Bailey 1890-1896 

Otto Ranke 1890-1891 

< '. X. Evans .1891-1896 

11. E. Bennett 1892- 1896 

W. H. White 1893-1896 

T. X. Ilaller 1893-1894 

1". V. Randolijh 1893- 1894 

J. 1 1. Ryckman 1894 

Thos. M. Green '894 

Herman Chapin 1896-1 81 jS 

J. 1). I.owman 1890-1901 

C. D. Williams 1896-1901 

W. R. Andrews 1896-1901 

.Andrew Knox 1896-1898 

T. H. Cann 1896-1898 

A. T. Lundberg 1898-1901 

Melody Choir 1898-1903 

C. E. Fowler 1902-1903 

C. W. .'maunders 1902-1904 

E. F. Blaine 1902-1908 

J. E. Shrewsbury 1902-1909 

C. I r. Clarke 1904-1906 

C. J. .Smith 1904-1907 

J. \V. Clise 1905-1906 

A. B. Ernst 

J. C. Ford 

E. C. Cheasty 

J. T. IlefFernan 

}. M. Fi-ink 

Ferdinand Schmitz 

J. T. Treiiholme 

Otto Roseleaf 

R. C. McAllaster 

The i)ark superintendents, 1892 to 1913, are: 

Tames Taylor 1892 

E. O. .'^chwagerl 1893-1895 

F. X. Little 1896-1902 

.\. L. Walters 1902-1904 

J. W. Thompson 1904-1916 

.A brief history and description of some of the most prominent of Seattle's 
parks is here given : 


.\lready this tract of land, tiie oldest ])ark in the city, has been mentioned. It 
was accepted on July 9, 1884, under Ordinance X'o. 571, entitled, "An Ordinance 
for the purpose of converting .Seattle Cemetery into a public park." Soon after 
its acquisition the park commissioners set to work to remove the bodies ;ind to 


make it a park. When donated it contained an area of over five acres, but has 
been cut down to 4.78 acres. It was supposed by the donors, as well as the city, 
that this park would always be far enough away from the city to be appreciated, 
but the rapid growth of the city has placed it in the heart of the residential district 
and contiguous to the business center. The Denny Hill regrade may mean the 
extinction of this park as the land is some forty to ninety feet above the grade 
contemplated in the regrade. It is located between Denny Way, John Street, 
Dexter Avenue and Ninth Avenue North. 


This was the second tract of land acquired by the City of Seattle for park 
jjurposes and was the gift of George Kinnear and wife, October 24, 1887. and 
accepted March 9. 1900, by Ordinance No. 58^0. It contains an area of fourteen 
acres and is jirobably the most scenic of all .Seattle's parks as it affords a \iew 
of Elliott Bay, Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains. It is situated on a lii.gli 
bluff overlooking Puget Sound and bounded by Prospect Street, Olympic Place, 
Beach Drive and a tier of half-lots fronting on Elliott Avenue. 


This place, perhaps the most familiar of any of Seattle's park pieces, occupies 
the site of Yesler's saw mill, the first steam mill erected on the Sotmd. After 
the fire of 1889 the intersection of First .'\ venue, James Street and "S'esler Way 
was widened and a triangular tract at the intersection was purchased from Henry 
L. Yesler, W. P. Boyd and Lewis M. Starr. On October 2. 1899, members 
of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer excursion presented to the city a totem pole 
which they had sectired from Tongas Island, Alaska, with the reqtiest that it be 
I)laced on Pioneer Place. This totem pole, fifty-two feet in height, is a section of 
a large cedar, and was erected amid imposing ceremonies at the north end of 
the triangle. Not a long time after, trouble was made for the city and the 
donors by the Alaska Indians, former possessors of the totem, who claimed that 
it had been stolen from them. The entire story has never been told, but many 
rumors floated about that the Indians were not so much concerned with the 
totem as certain lawyers in Alaska who -were anxious to get the fees which the 
proceedings would make. 


This was formerly the Somerville Tract No. 2, but the name was later changed 
to Dearborn Park in honor of its donors, George F. Dearborn and his wife, who 
gave it to the city for park purposes December 9, 1887. It contains about five 
acres of native brush and is traversed by a ravine. It is located between Thirty- 
second and Thirty-fifth avenues South and Ijrandon and Lucille streets. 


On July 24, 1883, the city exchanged five acres which it possessed for a 
five acre tract owned by B. F. Day and wife, and situated between First and 
Third avenues West and Newell Street. In 1909 five additional acres were added 
to this tract. The area has since been reduced by the widening of Ray Street 
and Third Avenue West. It is now known as Evergreen Park. 



( )n IXccnibcr 30, 1895 (Ordinance Xo. 41 iS), 1". 1". Wiukr and wife donated 
a tract of land containing about one acre in the souih jjart of tlie city. 


On April 30. iS<jS, the city purchased from the Stale of Washington a tract 
of school land containing 235.186 acres located south of lieacon Mill. The 
original intention was to utilize the land for reservoir and cenieter>' purposes, 
Init the latter idea was abandoned, and about one hundred and twenty-live acres 
were set aside for park purposes and given the name of City I'ark-. hut the name 
was soon after changed to Jefferson I'ark. On this entire tract of 235 acres 
are today situated Jefferson Park, the Isolation IIosi)ital. City Stockade, and 
twin reservoirs of the water department. Much of the grubbing of stumps 
and clearing away of brush has been done by the city prisoners of the City 
.^tockade. In 191 1 the southeast portion of the original tract was turned over 
to the jurisdiction of the park commission in consideration of the payment of 
.S40,ooo by the park commission to the general fund. In 191 2 a second transfer 
of land from the original tract was made to the park commission so that 173.9 
res of the original 235.186 are now a jfart of lelTcrson I'ark. 


( )n November 5, 1887, by Ordinance Xo. 877, the city ])urchased forty acres 
III land in what is now the Capitol Hill district, and gave to it the name of Lake 
\'iew J'ark. On May 21, 1901, the city council renamed it \'olunteer I'ark, in 
honor of the Seattle soldiers who .served as volunteers in the .^])anisli-.\nKric;ni 
war. On October 15, 1901, three more acres were acc|uircd, and in n/jj and 
iip3, by other jnirchases and the vacating of a portion of I'.Icvcnth .\veiuie Xorth. 
the total acreage was brought up to 47.S acres. .\i the i.nirance to tJu- ]i;irk 
i< a statue of William 11. Seward. 


This, the greatest of all of Seattle's parks, was jnircha.sed in January, 1900, 
from the estate of Guy C. Phinney for the sum of $100,000. At the time of its 
purchase the city council was severely criticized for its alleged extravagance, Imt 
the rapid growth of the city has since demonstrated that it was one of the wisest 
jiurchases ever made for park purposes. Prior to its purchase Mr. Phinney 
had expended some $40,000 in improving this tract. In variety of scenic beauty 
Woodland is the most valuable of all Seattle's parks. It has a broad c.x])ansc 
of level land for playgrounds, acres of virgin timbers and wilderness, and a 
half-mile frontage on Green Lake. .At this park is situated the zoo. It has 
at the present time an acreage of 178.9 acres. It is located between Phimiey 
.\venue and Green Lake, Xorth Fiftieth and Xorth Sixty-fifth streets. 

i.i.vcoi.v PI.\^•|•■Il•■.l.n 

This tract was formerly known as Lincoln Park. On Xovember 24, 181^7, 
the city, for the sum of $10,800, purchased the nucleus of this park, and by 
vacating Xagle Place, East Olive and East Howell streets and Tenth Avenue 


its present area is about eleven acres, and contains, besides the playfield, a city 
reservoir. It is the oldest of the playgrounds. 


On March 27, 1901, the city cotmcil named the small triangle at the inter- 
section of Yesler Way and Second Avenue South, Fortson Place, in honor of 
Capt. George H. Fortson, and other volunteers of the State of Washington, 
who lost their lives in the Philippines during the Spanish-American war. 


On July 7, 1902, the city council condemned and appropriated certain lots 
at the southwest corner of Highland Drive and Seventh x\venue West. On 
July 29, 1904, this tract was named Admiral Phelps Park in honor of Admiral 
Thomas Stowell Phelps, who, as a lieutenant in charge of the Decatur, aided in 
repelling the Indian attack on the City of Seattle during the Indian war of 
1855-5(3. The park is now known as Phelps Place. 


On January 5, 1900, the city accepted a deed from the Puget Mill Companv 
to sixty-two acres of land which became the nucleus of this park in return for 
certain water main extensions to be made by the city. On January 30 and 
May 7, 1902, 19.3 acres were added by purchase for the sum of $16,000 from 
S. P. Brown. On December 21, 1903, 37.5 acres were added by purchase from 
George Kiimear for $13,600. On June 2, 1904, certain lots were added by 
purchase for $1,000. On August 10, 1904, 1.32 acres were purchased for $250. 
On December 8, 1904, three tracts comprising 3.133 acres were purchased for 
$600. On July 15. 1904, certain other lots were added by condemnation. Since 
this date other additions have been made until at the present time the park 
contains an area of 165.22 acres. It extends from Madison Street to Union 
Bay, between Twenty-eighth and Thirty-first axenues. 


This tract of land fronting upon Lake Washington at the end of the old trail 
which is now known as Yesler Way was known to the old pioneers as Fleaburg. 
It was a favorite camping ground of the Indians and soon became infested 
with fleas. When the city grew it became the property of the Seattle Electric 
Company, who operated it as a private park, but it was purchased by the city 
on January I, 1909. It derives its name from Leschi, an Indian w'ho in early 
days was a friend to the white man, but in the Indian war of 1855-56 was 
accused of certain murders and convicted and hanged. 


In 1907 Charles Cowen donated to the city a tract of land in the university 
district containing about twelve acres, mostly ravine, which today constitutes 
one of the most beautiful park places in the city. It is located at Fifteenth 
.\venue Northeast and East Fifty-eighth Street. Certain improvements have 
reduced its area to 8.43 acres. 



Mr. J. M. Frink, who long served the city as park commissioner, gave to 
the city in 1906, for a park, a piece of land which today contains 15.5 acres. 
This park, named in his honor, overlooks Lake Washington and is situated east 
of Thirty-first Avenue South and between Main and King streets. 


This park, containing an area of 45.6 acres, was named in honor of Ferdinand 
Schmitz and wife, who, by two donations, 1908 and 1912, gave thirty-eight acres 
to the city. The remaindei; has been added by purchase. The park is located 
on West Seattle Peninsula, some distance back from Alki Bathing Beach. Mr. 
Schmitz has given much of his time to the city as a park commissioner. 


This park has ([uile an interesting history. This tract of land, now the 
properly of the city, is situated north of the University of Washington and 
is really a part of the ravine the west end of which is Cowen Park. It contained 
magnilicent trees, a winding brook and a sulphur spring, and was early the 
rendezvous of the pioneer residents of the city. It was taken up by private 
parties who improved it and developed the real estate in its vicinity. It took 
its name from Ravenna, in Italy, which in turn took its name from the ancient 
forest some three miles distant. Ravenna is famous in history. It is the city 
from which Qesar started on the journey which led him across the Rubicon. 
1 lere also Dante lived and died, and is buried. Sentiment demanded that this 
park be added to the city's park system, liul the owners asked $150,000, which 
the city refused to pay, and the park was acquired only by condemnation pro- 
ceedings in October, 191 1. 


This tract of beautiful land on Lake Washington in the southeastern part 
of the city was acquired by condemnation in 191 1. after many years of unsuc- 
cessful negotiations on the i)art of the city to purchase it. Its net cost was 
$322,000. It w-as named in honor of William II. Seward, secretary of state 
under Abraham Lincoln, and who as secretary secured the purchase of Alaska. 
Its area is 193.7 acres. 


This is a park of ten acres which is situated at the north end of Green Lake 
and which was formerly known as the Old Picnic Grounds. The entire water 
frontage of Green Lake is city property, and up to the present time the plans 
have been to decrease the size of the lake and utilize some of the shore line as a 
park and thus make it a lake within a park. It was formerly the end of the 
street railway line and was purchased by the city from the Electric Company. 


This is a historic spot. Here it was that llic first pioneers of the city located 
before removing to Seattle proper. It consists of a strip of beach on the salt 


water about twenty-five hundred feet in length. It was acquired by the city 
by condemnation in 1910, and its chief attraction is for bathing purposes. 


This was formerly the old pumping station tract on Lake Washington between 
Plum and Holgate streets and was the headquarters of the city water department 
before the advent of the Cedar River project. It consisted of about twelve 
acres, and when the plant was abandoned the site was turned over to the park 
department. In 1909 the estate of J. M. Colman made a gift to the city of four 
acres of adjoining property. The sixteen acres have been reduced to 13.2 
by improvements, chiefly the construction of the Frink Boulevard. 



On August I, i8b8, a meeting of citizens was held in Yesler Hall and a 
])ernianent organization of a library association was cfifected. The officers 
chosen were as follows : James McNaught, president ; Dr. \V. 11. Robertson, 
vice president; L. S. Smith, secretary; j. .M. Lyons, assistant secretary; Mrs. 
T. Si Russell, treasurer; Robert Russell, marshal; Mrs. II. L. Ycslcr, librarian. 
Jt was provided that the regular meetings should be held on Wednesday evenings, 
and all believed that the association would be the means of doing much good in 
the communit}'. By the middle of September the association numbered among 
its members many of the leading citizens of the town and was in a prosj;erous 

A meeting to reorganize the Library Association was held at the Pavilion 
late in May, 1872, but nothing was done except to appoint a committee to learn 
what had become of about $250 worth of books belonging to the old association 
and to adjouni to a second meeting a few days later. About this time in order 
lu aid the newly proposed association a strawberry and ice cream festival was 
lield at the Pavilion. On June 4th the citizens met and reorganized the associa- 
tion and elected the following officers : H. L. Yesler, president ; L. P. Smith, 
vice president; David Kellogg, recording secretary; Mrs. D. Tuite, correspond- 
ing secretary; Mrs. II. L. Yesler, treasurer; Mrs. J. M. Lyon, librarian; Dexter 
Morton, G. F. Whitworth, C. P. Stone, S. Dinsmore, F. IT. Lamb, Mrs. Weed, 
Orange Jacobs, and .\. Mackintosh, directors. 

At a meeting of the trustees on November 19, 1872, all ])ersons who paid 
membership fees and had their names entered on the rolls were admitted to 
niembershi]). The rules were ordered printed. The following persons were 
admitted to honorary membership: Rev. A. C. Fairchild, Rev. Somers, Rev. F. 
X. Prcfontaine. Rev. J. F. Damon, Rev. Daniel P)agley, Rev. Theodore Crowl 
and Mr. David Miggins. A. Mackintosh was appointed librarian and was in- 
structed to open the library every Saturday evening. It was decided to open a 
public reading room in connection with tlie library as soon as practicable. F. H. 
Lamb, .A. C. Fairchild and John F. Damon were appointed a coinmittee of corres- 
pondence for the reading room. A. Mackintosh was appointed to provide for a 
course of lectures for the association, seven lectures to constitute the course. 
In Xovcmber tlie association was unexpectedly prosperous with quite a large 
membership. .\t the monthly meeting in November the manuscript literary 
paper which had become an exceedingly interesting, exciting and instructive 
feature, was read by Judge Jacobs and Mrs. .\. Mackintosh. This monthly- 
paper in manuscript form was called the "I.ibr.irian." .\t the December nieet- 
ingf of the trustees Dexter Ilortoii proposed to contribute $500 for tlic purchase 
of books ])roviding the association should raise by subscrijition or otherwise 



the sum of $i,ooo. The association thereupon called for life memberships at 
$30 each and took other steps to raise the money. With the books already in 
hand and with $i,5CX) to buy more, the library, it was realized, would soon be in 
excellent condition to serve the reading public. 

At first the membership was about forty, but Mrs. Yesler within a week or 
so afterward secured about forty more. The admission fee was $3, which, 
with the payment of the annual dues of $2, entitled a member to all privileges. 
The library committee notified all persons having possession of the books of 
the old association to return them forthwith to the office of McNaught & Leary. 
Early in 1873 the association annotinced that through the efforts of A. Mackin- 
tosh, H. L. Yesler and ^Irs. Yesler the citizens had subscribed the $1,000. In 
order that the $1,500 raised should be expended to the best advantage, the asso- 
ciation called for lists of books which in the opinion of the public should be 
purchased and the call was left open for three weeks. About this time the 
association was presented with a complete set of the Xew American Encyclo- 
pedia in twenty-six volumes by C. P. Stone. At the meeting of the board of 
directors in March a vote of thanks was tendered A. Mackintosh for his gratui- 
tous and successful efforts to obtain the $1,000 subscription. At the annual 
meeting late in May the following officers were nominated for the ensuing year : 
President, Dexter Horton ; vice president, Rev. G. F. W'hitvvorth : recording sec- 
retary, ^Irs. A. [Mackintosh ; corresponding secretary, ]\Irs. J. R. Robbins : 
treasurer, Mrs. H. L. Yesler; directors, H. L. Yesler, L. P. Smith, J. R. Robbins, 
A. Mackintosh, S. F. Coombs, .\. A. Denny, .Mrs. Dr. \Veed, Airs. Gilliam. 

.\ financial statement was rendered showing a total of receipts of $1,857.55 
and of expenditures of $342.75, leaving a balance on hand of $1,514.80; with 
278 volumes in the library. 

.\t this meeting arrangements to have the reading room kept open on Sunday 
were made. Members were notified to renew their annual cards before they 
would be allowed to vote at the ensuing election for association officers. The 
association reported that over thirty newspapers of the United States and 
Canada were kept regularly in the files. About the middle of July, 1873, the 
library was removed to Yesler's new building on First Aventie opposite the 
telegraph office. This was a fine location and was much appreciated Ijy the 
members. In July a large invoice of books for the library arrived. 

In the fall of 1873 the Library Association again awoke to life and action. 
Late in October a large consignment of books arrived from San Francisco for 
the library. Notices were posted in the hotels and in other public places 
inviting all strangers in town to visit and enjoy the reading rooms of the asso- 
ciation. It was kept open day and evening and was free to the public. The 
following officers were elected for 1874-75 : Orange Jacobs, president ; A. A. 
Denny, vice president ; R. H. Denny, treasurer ; W. H. Pumphrey, secretary ; 
and Orange Jacobs, A. A. Denny, W. H. Pumphrey, H. L. Yesler, Mrs. W. H. 
Gilliam, D. P. Jenkins, Dexter Horton, and S. F. Coombs, trustees. Early in 
September, 1874, the librar}- was a large and growing institution. There were 
over twelve hundred of the best selected books and works on the shelves, and 
John Webster, librarian, kept the reading room open from 7 to 9 o'clock four 
nights out of each week. The books were given out tipon stated terms and the 
list of outside readers had increased greatly within a short time. The benefits of 


the library were keenly ai>preciaied by the citizens, who on all occasions 
assisted it, increasing the number of books for public circulation. In 1876 Mrs. 
-Maynard opened a free reading room in her residence ; there were many books 
and periodicals ; visitors were cordially invited. A Union prayer meeting was 
held there every Tuesday night. .\ branch of the Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation was organized there in July. 

Early in 1S77 the library was removed from its cramped quarters in the old 
Intelligencer liuilding to Stacey's new building on I'Vont Street. .A room there 
was set off from the Young Men's Christian Association hall for the reception 
of the books. At this time the library contained 1,500 volumes. Mr. Ilorton 
did much to re-estabish the library again at this date and open the free read- 
ing room. 

Here this library disappears from view-, but the books having been moved 
into the rooms of the Young Men's Christian .Association doubtless that associa- 
tion continued to care for tliem and after a time acquired ownership in them. 

-A Catholic library association was organized in May, 1887, in the basement 
of the Catholic Church, liishop lunger was jjrcsent and delivered an elo(|uent 
■-jjeech on the worthy objects of the movement. .At the conclusion of his address 
he was elected honorary president of the association. The organization became 
a chartered stock comjjany with a caijital of $25,000. .Steps to build a hall and 
library building were taken at this meeting and a little later. The first officers 
were: Capt. W. D. O'Toole. president; Terence O'Brien, Jr., vice president; 
E. McElroy, secretary: Rev. F. X. Prefontaine, treasurer and s])iritual director; 
Mrs. ('. W. ^'(lmlg, librarian: Revereml I 'rcfoiUaine. .Mr. n'Tocilr. .Mrs. O'l'rien, 
-Mrs. Robert Russell and P. P. Carroll, trustees. The association at its first 
meeting determined to erect a building that would be a credit to tlie city. 

If anything further was done by this organization the writer has not been 
successful in obtaining the facts. 

.Any history of Seattle must necessarily be a record of the accomplishments 
of men, by nature made builders of the home and providers of subsistence. Of 
woman's participation in the upbuilding of the community little has been said. 
Yet the women of Seattle have played important parts in the development of 
the city that built itself. Through all the years of Seattle's growth they have 
l.'ihored well and unostentatiously. Today, as a monument to their work of 
years, there stands on Fourth Avenue between Spring and Madison .streets a 
wonderful imblic library, which they began and which was fostered and encour- 
aged by them through all the trying years of the city's growth — a library which 
stands at the present time in the ranks of the nation's best. .At this time public- 
spirited women help to guide its destinies and it is still growing, as it has grown, 
at a pace which more than keeps up with the development of the city in e\ery 
other way. 

Seattle's Public Library, the intellectual beacon-light of the great Northwest, 
was founded in 1888 by the women of Seattle, among the leaders being Mes- 
dames ]. C. Haines, A. B. Stewart, L. S. J. Hunt, \V. K. Boone. G. Morris 
Haller. }. H. Sanderson, Joseph F. McNaught and George H. Heilbron. Their 
organization was called the Ladies' Library .Association. Its members at first 
secured pulilic subscriptions for supjwrt of their project. Then they persuaded 
Henry L. Yesler to give the triangle at Third .\\cnue, between Terrace Street 


and Yesler Way, to the city for public library purposes. This tract has since 
been exchanged in part payment for a site at Twenty-third Avenue and Yesler 
Way, where a branch known as the Henry L. Y'esler Memorial has been built. 

So hard did these women work for the establishment of a public library that 
in 1890 the city charter convention was induced to include a provision in the 
annual city budget for the support of this institution to the amount of 10 per 
cent of ihe fines and licenses. The cause of the library was effectively cham- 
pioned before the convention by Judge Roger S. Greene and Junius Rochester. 

In iNyi the public library was launched. It was established in the Occidental 
Block, now the site of the Seattle Hotel, with A. J. Snoke, a scholarly gentle- 
man as the city's first librarian. It remained in this location for three years, 
being moved in 1894 to the top floor of the Collins Block, at Second Avenue and 
James Street. Librarian Snoke served one year and was succeeded by Mrs. L. 
K. Harnett, who held the position for one year. In 1893 J. D. Atkinson, who 
was later state attorney general and is still a resident of Seattle, was appointed 
city librarian, remaining at the work for about two years. In 1895 Charles 
W'esley Smith was elected to this position. He served until the completion of 
the present building and until the new institution had been well established, 
resigning in 1907, and being succeeded by Judson T. Jennings, the present 

The Seattle Public Library, despite its assistance from the city, had no easy 
row to hoe in the early '90s. It was then the only really free library in the 
state, the only other ones being circulating libraries such as are now found in 
small country towns. Seattle's institution was especially hit by the hard times 
of 1S93. During Mr. Atkinson's administration the city's revenue for its sup- 
port was not sufficient to keep it going, so it had to close down, but only for 
one week. A collection was taken up and $800 raised. H. C. Henry alone gave 
$100 to the fund. Patrons of the library were charged 10 cents a month for 
the use of books. Money was so scarce then that it brought down in one year the 
circulation of books from 144,000 to 77,000. The charge drove the children's 
patronage away and this accounted largely for the decrease. 

After Mr. Smith became librarian in 1S95 the library containing 7,500 books 
was moved to cheaper quarters in the Rialto Block, now location of the h'rederick 
& Nelson store. All possible expenses were reduced and the institution again 
put on a free basis. From that moment the growth of the library has been 
as phenomenal as that of the city itself. Mr. Smith prided himself on the fact 
that the library not only kept pace with the material development of Seattle, 
but remained always just a little in the lead. His first innovation was the adop- 
tion of the open-shelf system, then new on the This immediately increased 
the popularity of the library. It remained in the Rialto Block for three years 
and on January 12, 1899, was moved to the old Henry L. Yesler home, at Third 
and James. This was a forty-room residence, then one of the show places of 
the city, and probably the finest residence in the Northwest. It had hardwood 
floors and was magnificently finished. It was heated by a hot-air furnace. To 
Librarian Smith it was a joyous home for the institution in whose welfare he 
had become absorbed. The library just spread itself. There was room, and a 
room for every feature that could be suggested. The bindery was established in 
the kitchen, the librarian's office in a bedroom. 


At inidiiiylu on January i, lyoi, Librarian Smith had returned from the 
hbrary, wlicrc he worked with his assistants imtil 1 1 :30 to take the annual 
inventory of tlie city's books. He had just retired, when the telcplione bell rang. 

"Is this Mr. Smith of the public library?" said the voice at the other end. 
< Ml being advised in the affirmative the voice continued: "This is the Post-Intel- 
ligencer. How much insurance was carried on the library?" 

'•\\hat," yelled Mr. Smith, "is it afire?" 

Without waiting for a reply, he dropped the telephone and ran outside, where 
the lighted sky verified his suspicions. Then he came back, put on a pair of 
rubber boots and a rubber coat, and ran from Beacon Hill, where he lived, 
llirough a foot of snow, down to the burning structure, plunged in and personally 
rescued the record of the library. The building burned to the ground, and 
though it possessed 30,000 volumes, only about two thousand books then on the 
shelves were finally saved. .At the time 5,000 books were out in circulation. 
Inasmuch as Mr. Sniilli, at the risk of his life, had saved the record cards, the 
library was able to recover them. Quarters were opened in the Yeslcr bam, 
which had bcc,n saved, and remained there for one month, moving then into the 
M University liuilding in the tract where the Metropolitan Building Company's 
.-iructures now stand. This historic structure, since demolished, housed the 
library until the completion of the present home in 1906. 

In the fall of 1900, just prior to the destruction of the library building by 
lire. Librarian Smith and Chas. E. Shepard had made a trip to the East to visit 
otiier libraries and to ask Mr. Carnegie to help Seattle in the way that was then 
making him famous. They received a cool reception from Mr. Carnegie's sec- 
retary. He advised them that Seattle was a "hot-air." boom city and that he had 
been so advised by S. A. Perkins, of Tacoma, and that he did not consider it 
worth while to suggest to Mr. Carnegie the donation of any amount for library 
purposes. So the two Seattle men came back empty-handed. .\nd when the 
fire laid low the Yesler residence Seattle was not only without a library but 
iw before it no way to procure one. In spite of the rebuff the city's representa- 
tives had met in the outskirts of Carnegie's office, the members of the board who 
wished to restore the library after the fire could think of nothing but the Scotch- 
man's gold wJRii iluir minds grappled with the question of w-ays and means. It 
was a natural mental condition, for at that time to think of a library builder 
was to think of Carnegie. Seattle took a chance. J. G. Pyle. editor of the Post- 
Inlelligcncer, sent the following telegram to the Laird of Skibo : 

"Seattle Public Library and its building totally destroyed by fire this morn- 
ing. City authorities willing to purchase site and guarantee $50,000 annually 
fur maintenance. Can you give Seattle a library building?" 

On tlie following morning Mr. Carnegie wired in reply: 

"Sorry indeed to hear of the library being destroyed. Seattle should Iniild 
fireproof next time. Am disposed to give Seattle a suitable building if site and 
maintenance provided by city. Your wire says the city would expend $50,000 a 
year in maintenance, which may be an error in transmission. Refer you to cor- 
respondence witJi Mr. Shepard, of library committee, last year. 

"Andrew Carm;(.ii;." 


Mr. Pyle, for the Post-Intelligencer, immediately sent another message : 

"Sincere thanks for your generous assurance. Librar}' revenues greatly 
increased this year by increase of assessed valuation. I am authorized by chair- 
man of Council Committee to guarantee $50,000 if suitable building is furnished. 
You may condition everything on provision of site and above named city main- 
tenance by city. May I announce Carnegie Library for Seattle tomorrow? Will 
await your reply." 

Then Mr. Carnegie telegraphed from New York to the Post-Intelligencer: 

"Having been in correspondence with ^Ir. Shepard, it would be discourteous 
to ignore him. Should like you to see him and have him wire me. 

"Andrew Carnegie." 

Mr. Pyle had been in touch with j\lr. Shepard during all this time and a con- 
sultation resulted in sending the two messages that follow: 

"I have just been appointed on Librar}' Commission. Telegrams of the Post- 
Intelligencer to you were sent with knowledge of our correspondence and with 
my cordial approval. \\'e are working in harmony and are sure of a very fine 
site. I would concur in all that 'Mr. Pyle wires you. 

"Charles E. Shepard." 

"^^'e guarantee finest site and S50.000 maintenance for suitable building. 

"Charles E. Shepard, Library Commissioner; W ill H. Parry, Chairman of 
Library Committee, City Council ; J. G. Pvle, Editor Post-Intelligencer." 

To these the Post-Intelligencer added another wire : 

"Telegrams sent you today after consultation with gentlemen signing them 
in my office. Will you please advise me of your decision? 

"J. G. Pvle, Post-Intelligencer." 

It was apparent now that ^Ir. Carnegie was interested and amazed. From 
New York, on Friday, he telegraphed : 

"Delighted to receive your last telegrams. There is only one point about 
which I am not clear. What does a city of 80.000 inhabitants need of $50,000 
annually to maintain a library? Seems to me that this is somewhat more than is 
necessary for the city to tax itself. Atlanta has more population, and I have 
allowed that city $125,000 for the building. Presume this would give you a build- 
ing suitable for present needs, but site should have vacant grounds for additions. 

"Andrew Carnegie." 

This was the Post-Intelligencer's chance, and the following clinching argu- 
ment was immediately put on the wire : 

"Increase in population from 1890 to 1900 Atlanta 37 per cent: Seattle 88 per 
cent. Seattle's population practically all white and all readers. Actual revenue 
for 1900 is $30,000. We would like to build fireproof for the future as well as 
for the present. In less than five years a building costing $250,000 and main- 
tenance of $50,000 will be none too large for our real needs. Nothing from you 


to us or Shepard published yet. Can }X)U say anything now for publication 
tomorrow ? 


An hour later Mr. Shepard and Librarian Smith followed with this statement: 

"Supplementing Post-Intelligencer's telegram today. I find home circulation, 
3CKJ days, 1900, 150,000 volumes. Approximate average week-day attendance 
1,450. Sunday attendance 450. Separate newspaper reading room, 500 daily. 
"C. W. Smith, City Librarian; C. E. Shep.\rd, Library Commissioner." 

Tiial Mr. Carnegie not only was greatly interested in the enterprise of Seattle, 
but ailmircd the courage of the men who pleaded in its behalf is shown in the 
message received in the Post-Intelligencer office at 8.20 on Saturday evening: 

"New York, January 5, 1901. 
"]. G. Pyle, Editor Post-Intelligencer and Library Committee, Seattle, Wash. 

"I like your pluck offering $50,000 yearly for library purposes. You may 
build u]) to cost two hundred thousand, which I shall provide as needed. We 
remember our visit to Seattle and kind reception with great pleasure and are 
delighted to shake hands, as it were, over this matter. Be sure to have spare 
grounds about building for additions which Seattle's brilliant future will surely 
require. Happy New Year to all her people. 


Negotiations were closed with this message of thanks: 

"We cannot express adequately our apjircciation of your magnificent gift of 
$200,000 for a public library bpilding for Seattle. In the name of all our citizens 
we send you earnest and heartfelt thanks. The Carnegie Public Library of 
Seattle will stand as another monument to your love of letters and your generosity 
to a proud and grateful people. You have given us a golden New Year, and will 
be remembered and honored as a public benefactor through all the future of 

"J. G. Pvi.E, for the Post-Intelligencer; Ch.\rli:s E. Shep.ari), for the Library 
Committee of Common Council; J. A. James, for Finance Committee of Common 

But Seattle had four years to wait before the beautiful structure that the 
institution now owns was completed. The choice of a site occupied the attention 
of the city council and library board for two years or more. Then after work had 
begun and the foundations were completed, the Great Northern tunnel, which 
passes underneath, undermined the work and a year was consumed in adjusting 
the damage, for which the railway paid $100,000. A second claim for damages to 
the amount of nearly half a million, is now pending. 

When the building was practically completed and things liad cost a little 
more than was expected, it was found that about twenty thousand dollars addi- 
tional was needed to equip the structure. Where the money was to come from 
was a puzzle. .\t a meeting of the library commissioners, the Rev. J. P. D. 
Llwyd, an enthusiastic member of the board, suggested that he could go to 
Scotland, where Mr. Carnegie was then on his vacation, to ask the Laird of Skibo 


for the extra funds. The board felt reUictant as to this, and thought it had no 
right to spend the money of the city for such a purpose. Doctor Llwyd stated, 
however, that he would pay his own fare across the Atlantic if the board could 
find a way to cover his expense overland. Judge J. A. Stratton then suggested 
that the board share the cost of the trip. This was done. Doctor Llwyd went to 
Scotland and when he alighted from his train at Skibo the first man he saw was 
Mr. Carnegie, who was pacing up and down the platform at the station. He fell in 
with the Laird and while they walked he introduced himself and explained his 
mission. Mr. Carnegie was visibly and \olubly agitated. 

"Why do you follow me to the ends of the earth?" he fairly yelled, "I just 
come here for the purpose of getting away from such things as libraries." 
Doctor Llwyd kept in step and persisted. 

"All right, I'll give you the $20,000," said Carnegie after he had become suffi- 
ciently interested in the conversation to stand still and give the Seattle clergyman 
an opportunity properly to present his case. 

Thus Seattle received $220,000 from Carnegie for its big library. Since that 
time he has given funds to the amount of $105,000 for the building and equipping 
of branch libraries in various parts of the city. Altogether the library property 
of the city totals in value in 1915 more than one million dollars. 

Seattle, always a maker of epochs and in the advance guard of progress, in 
securing its donation of $200,000 for a library building set a new pace in giving 
for Mr. Carnegie. Prior to his Seattle gift, he had given so large sum to only 
two other cities in the country, Pittsburg, his home city and Washington, D. C. 

The big library, located on a full block in the heart of the city, has been so 
])lanned as to permit additions in the future to make it three times its present 
size. When the building was oj)ened to the public on December 19, 1906, it rep- 
resented an investment of $350,000. Mr. Smith, the librarian, anticipated that 
its cost would reach a larger sum that Mr. Carnegie's donation and had economized 
with his appropriation from the city. Thus he was enabled to turn over a large 
sum of money toward the building. In the charter convention of 1895 city 
boards and commissions were abolished, but Mr. Smith appeared before it and 
urged the retention of the Library Commission. He was successful and, though 
it legislated out the wximen, a commision of five, advisory to the librarian, was 
incorporated in the charter. It had no powers, however, and only met once a 
year to hear the librarian's report. When the library got too large for one man's 
shoulder, Mr. Smith prevailed upon the council to submit a charter amendment to 
restore the board to power. During all of Mr. Smith's administration his esti- 
mates in the city budgets were allowed without a cut, the only city department 
which enjoyed this rare distinction. Mr. Smith also framed the state library 
law, which has served as a model for other states and which is responsible for 
the high development of the library movement in this state. 

The first chairman of the board, who served for many years in that capacity 
was Judge Eben Smith, a courtly gentleman in whom the people had much con- 
fidence and who thus was able to carry the library's influence over the crucial 
periods of its existence. The member of the board who has served the long- 
est of the present incumbents is Judge Julius A. Stratton, a gentleman whose 
willingness to work for the public good without reward is largely responsible for 
the growth of the present library system of Seattle. Other members of the board 



IllS'loin- OF SEATTLE 289 

wlio have served at varimis iuiils since the eslal)lishmeiu of llic hbrary are: 
Eben Smith, George Doiiwortii, Rev. David C. Garrett, Alexander F. McEwan, 
Charles E. Shepard, Charles A. Taylor, Edwin W. Craven, Robert 11. Lindsay, 
Harry A. Chadwick, G. A. C. Rochester, Rev. J. P. D. LKvyd, Rev. W. A. 
Major, James II. Lyons, M. D., Sidney S. Elder, .\ndre\v Weber, George E. 
Wright, Frederick M. Padelford, James Murphy, Samuel Morrison, Daniel B. 
Trefethcn. Jacob Schaefer, John \\'. Efaw, Miss Adele M. Fielde, O. II. O. 
La Farge. Rev. .'^amuel Kock. J. Allen Smith, Mrs. A\'. A. Burleigh, Julius A. 
>-t ration, C. M. Sheafe, Mrs. .\. B. Stewart, R. C. Washburn, Mrs. J. C. Haines, 
John E. Ayer and Mrs. C. 11. Wilcox. 

liranch libraries occupying beautiful buildings have been established in the 
communities known as Ballard, Columbia, Fremont, Green L.iko. the L'niversity, 
Queen Anne Hill, West Seattle, Georgetown, Yesler Way, and in ihe schools 
and ])laygrounds. 

The central library and its branches contain 254,636 volumes and report a 
regular registered patronage for the year ending December 31, T915, of 66,186 
jiersons, with a circulation of 1,395,239 volumes. 



Seattle's institutions, through which the city's founders purposed to administer 
and interpret the every-day laws to govern themselves, began with a marriage 
ceremony. On November 19, 1852, John Bradley and Mary Relyea, both of 
Steilacoom, started the wheels of justice grinding in the settlement by permitting 
themselves to be made man and wife in the first court held in King County. Dr. 
D. S. Alaynard, who had just been appointed the first justice of peace, performed 
the customary rite. 

It proved to be a good beginning. The ceremony was simple and effective, 
and all parties were well satisfied with the adjudication. Incidentally, from this 
and subsequent exercises of jurisdiction Doctor Maynard gained the experience 
which enabled him to pass examination and secure admission to the bar at a later 
date, becoming one of the city's first attorneys. 

The simplicity and effectiveness of the procedure, which made John and jMary 
man and wife, were the qualities which continued to mark the administration of 
justice in Seattle. Like nearly every frontier settlement, Seattle at its birth did 
about as it pleased so far as the law and the courts were concerned. Yet its 
pleasure was to do well, to keep the peace, and to observe the accepted customs 
of civilized communities. Its founders were their own lawmakers ; they were 
busy enough building homes for themselves to settle their little disputes without 
the necessity of running to the law courts, which as the community extended itself, 
were found to be indispensable. 

The bench and bar of Seattle have always occupied high rank in legal annals 
of the North Pacific Coast. 

Courts here in the early days, like the cases they tried, had two sides, the 
territorial side and the United States side. In the legislation of Congress organiz- 
ing the territories and making provision for their government, commonly called 
the Organic Act, the territorial legislative assemblies were vested with jurisdiction 
over "all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with the Constitution and 
laws of the United States." Under this sweeping grant of power the Supreme 
Court of the United States, in a case involving the east half of the David S. 
Maynard donation claim in Seattle, held that a Territorial Legislature had the 
power to grant a divorce without cause and without notice or summons to the 
party against whom it was granted. That court held that the Legislature could 
act upon ever\-thing within range of civil government. 

By the organic acts of Oregon and ^^'^ashington, the judicial powers for the 
territories were vested in a supreme court, district courts, probate courts and 
justices of the peace. Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court was appellate, and its 
more important decisions were subject to review by the .Supreme Court of the 
United States. District, probate and justice courts were courts of original 



jiirisdiciiun, liniiicd in piubatc courts to exclusive original jurisdiction in probate 
matters only, and in justice courts to certain controversies involving small values. 
District courts and probate courts were courts of record. The former had general 
jurisdiction in all matters in law and equity, and appellate jurisdiction in the lower 
courts. The territorial courts had more extensive powers than our state courts, 
lor they combined all the powers now exercised by the state courts willi all the 
powers exercised by the district and circuit courts of the United States. The 
judges were a chief justice and two or more associate justices of the Supreme 
Court of the territory and were nominated and appointed with the consent of the 
Senate, by the President of the United States. The chief justice and associate